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Four new potential charter schools could open within the next year

There are currently four charter school operators vying for the opportunity to launch charter schools in Mississippi.

And for the first time, charter schools would be established outside of the Jackson-metro area.

“Right now, the state’s only charter schools are all in Jackson,” said Grant Callen with Empower Mississippi. “I’m encouraged to see that these operators are looking outside the metro.”

The schools could be opening in Drew, Clarksdale, Magnolia and Canton.

“We have a very rigorous process in Mississippi to set up a charter school,” said Callen. “There were nine applicants to open charters this year, and only four made it to the next step.”

The next step is a board meeting next month with the Mississippi Charter School Board.

Callen added that legislation passed in 2016 allowed for more charters to start trying to develop in Mississippi.

“We’ve had the ability since 2013,” said Callen. “But it wasn’t until 2016 that the legislature passed a law that students could jump school district lines to go to a charter school if the current district they were in was a “C,” “D,” or “F” rated school.”

The following charter school operators will go before the board next month:

  • Clarksdale Collegiate–aims to open a school in Clarksdale initially serving grades k-3 in 2018, with eventual expansion to k-8.
  • KC Schools Inc. — aims to launch a school in Magnolia serving grades 5-9 as early as this year, with eventual expansion to allow pre-k through 12th grade.
  • SR1– aims to open a school in Canton initially serving kindergarten in 2018, but eventually growing to grades k-12.
  • Shades of Elegance Corp.– aims to open a school in Drew for K-6 initially in 2018, eventually expanding to grades k-8.

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