House Education Committee Passes Charter School Bill
House Bill 369, the Mississippi Charter Schools Act of 2013, passed the House Education Committee on a roll call vote of 16 yeas, 14 nays (see vote below). See our summary of the bill here.
The bill was amended by the committee to remove the exemption of charter schools from the conflict of interest statute that prohibits traditional schools' employees and board members from representing or working for textbook publishing companies. Two other amendments were proposed but failed: an amendment requiring that at least 50% of charter school administrators be certified, and an amendment requiring a local referendum if a local school board votes to endorse a charter school application.
House Education Committee vote report on passage of HB 369
Yeas: Reps. Arnold, Baker, Barker, Boyd, Busby, Chism, Crawford, Currie, DeBar, Espy, Frierson, Guice, Martinson, Mayo, Warren, and Weathersby
Nays: Reps. Bain, Burnett, Calhoun, Clarke, Dickson, J. Evans, Gardner, Hamilton, Holloway, Jennings, Massengill, Nelson, Straughter, and Thomas
HB 369 now will go to the full House for a vote. The bill should be amended to ensure that for-profit companies are not allowed to manage charter schools. In its current form, HB 369 requires charter schools themselves to be non-profit, but does not specifically prohibit charters from contracting with for-profit companies for the operation and management of charter schools.
Tennessee successfully banned for-profits in 2010, using the following language in their legislation:
A public charter school may conduct activities necessary and appropriate to carry out its
responsibilities such as:
(1) Contract for services, except for the management or operation of the charter school by a for-profit entity