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Group Comes Together to Learn About Charter Schools

JACKSON, Miss.–The Mississippi Coalition for Public Charter Schools had an information meeting Tuesday for people interested in charter schools.

These are independent public schools, and separate from their normal public school counterparts that have more freedom to innovate and help kids learn.

“Sometimes you have to be taught how to learn,” said Gene Smalley who was the charter school advocate of the year for Nashville Prep and was in attendance.

Smalley said his son wasn’t really excelling in his regular education environment that the public schools were offering so he sent him to Nashville Prep and he soared.

“He now has a zeal for learning, and zest to go there,” he said. “Just the way he carries himself and his want to learn.”

Smalley said Nashville Prep broke academic records for low-income students in the last year.

Other community leaders from inside Mississippi were on-hand Tuesday to feel out the new education option like Tony Duckworth from Covington County who leads a youth ministry.

“I’m here to see how can we best use the charter school to offset some of the academic failure in our area,” he explained.

Duckworth lamented at the lack of college-bound kids from his local public schools and said that there is a clear problem.

“We need to put all of our kids in a position to excel,” he said. “Not only on a high school level, but also on a college level.”

The MCPCS session went for four hours in Jackson with numerous speakers advocating the new option.

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