Governor Phil Bryant has appointed three people to serve on the state's Charter School Authorizer Board. Chris Wilson of Laurel is one of seven people that will serve on this board, which decides qualifying criteria for charter schools, approves applications as well as many other responsibilities.
"Better schools in Mississippi, well quite frankly, they're the answer to so many of the problems we've got," says Wilson, who is a realtor. "One-size-fits-all doesn't work in Mississippi. That's part of our problem."
The board will be made up of seven members: three appointed by Gov. Bryant, three by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and the remaining member is the Interim State Superintendent of Education Dr. Lynn House.
"One of the challenges is going to be picking the right set of criteria that sets up an opportunity for success," says Bailey.
Charter schools will replace failing schools or school districts, which is determined by the grade they receive from the Mississippi Department of Education. A grade of 'D' or 'F' qualifies a school as failing. Schools or school districts that are graded 'A', 'B' or 'C' are eligible to apply for a charter but must be approved first by the local school board.
"So many public schools don't make the grade," says Wilson. "And so many parents have no opportunity, no option, to send their children to something better because they can't afford to travel, and they're stuck with failing schools."
Lt. Gov. Reeves has not yet appointed his three members, and it is uncertain when the board will begin their work.
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