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Leaders Vow to Keep Pushing Charter Schools

By Daniel Cherry | Published 04 Apr 2012 05:53pm | comments

Top Republicans and other charter school supporters in the Misssissippi legislature vow to bring the issue back before lawmakers this session. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how advocates are gearing up for another push.

Charter schools took a serious blow this week when the House Education Committee voted down a bill already passed by the Senate that would have allowed the schools in Mississippi. Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and other supporters have several options for how to reintroduce the bill.

"We haven't identified all of our options yet. There are many that are obvious, but we're trying to find a way in which to do so to get good, meaningful education reform done."

One possibility is to tack on the entire wording of the dead bill to another education bill currently in front of the Senate. Governor Phil Bryant says he's considering calling a special session to allow lawmakers more time to consider the issue which is another option. House Minority Leader Bobby Moak is glad the bill failed, and he thinks a special session is just a way to get around the House Education Committee.

"You circumvent a committee that you've already appointed and already stacked then that says something right there. But then that legislation will come to the House floor, most than likely, so we'll deal with it when we need to at the proper time."

Even though charter schools have suffered a setback, supporters like Democratic Representative Chuck Espy of Clarksdale is optimistic since the effort is backed by nearly all the top officials.

"This is where you're going to find true reform. When the top tier of government in Mississippi step forward, you're going to see some real action now."

Leaders haven't officially decided on which strategy they'll take, but there's little doubt charter schools will soon be back in front of legislators.

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