Mississippi appears headed down the road of diluting the money available for public education by approving legislation that allows competing “charter schools” to be created.
The Senate has passed a particularly heinous bill supported by anti-public school interests that would allow an unlimited number of charter schools to be created.
Only public school districts with A or B state performance ratings, such as New Albany and Union County, could veto them.
Under the Senate bill, these schools could be created by for-profit companies, which would drain public tax money off to private businesses from who knows where. Students could cross school district lines to attend these schools and your tax money would follow them out of your community.
The House has approved less objectionable plan that limits the number of charter schools to 15 per year and allows them only in districts rated D or F by the state. For-profit schools would be prohibited and your tax money could not flow beyond your school district.
Both bills create a new board and staff, separate from the state Department of Education, to administer the schools.
Analysts predict the board would cost several hundred thousand dollars a year.
We have said many times that our state cannot afford more schools and certainly doesn’t need another board. Both proposals cheat our public schools and their students.
But at least the House bill, if it were to become law, keeps the big-money anti-public education businesses out of our state.