Bill to make charter school creation easier on governor's desk - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bill to make charter school creation easier on governor's desk

(WMC-TV) - A bill to make it easier to create charter schools is on its way to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

The Mississippi Senate voted to approve House Bill 369, which widens legal authority for charter schools.

The governor says he will sign it.

The heavily debated measure makes it easier for charter schools to set up in low performing school districts across the state.

School districts are given ratings A through F.

Under the new bill, charter schools can apply to come into districts with Ds and Fs.

School boards from A, B, and C rated districts can veto a charter school from coming in.

In north Mississippi, Tunica County schools have a D rating. The superintendent there says if it passes it might raise competition.

"All industries that have competition seem to have great product because you're in competition to provide the best service and best product to the consumers," Tunica County School District Superintendent Bernard Stephen.

A spokesperson for DeSoto County Schools says there will not be much of an impact on the district and its 32,000 students because of its B rating. But in Marshall County, Superintendent Jerry Moore inherited a district right on the bubble.

"My goal now that we've taken over is to never get below the grade of successful and that we never have to worry about that," said Moore.

Under the proposal, students would not be allowed to cross district lines to attend a charter school in another district.

Both the Senate and the House passed the proposed bill after some compromise.

It is now in the hands of the governor.

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