Gov. Barbour plans to sign charter school bill - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Gov. Barbour plans to sign charter school bill

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email 

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A bill that would allow for the creation of charter schools in Mississippi and establish a separate program for failing school districts is awaiting the governor's signature.

Governor Haley Barbour plans to sign the bill into law, but he says he doesn't think the bill is strong enough.

Charter schools are publicly funded, but are independent of traditional school districts. An innovative school is a type of charter school run by a board elected by parents. The governor said he was hoping for a better bill.

"I appreciate the hard work that was done by the committees in the House and Senate because there was a lot of opposition to doing anything," said Barbour. "I'm going to sign it because I think it's better than nothing, but I do think we shouldn't have to have failing schools that are taken over by the state before you have the right to have a charter school in your community."

Mississippi has 951 elementary and secondary schools, and officials say 212 of those are classified as failing or at risk of failing.

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