SuperTalk Mississippi

What you need to know about National School Charter School Week

Those in support of school choice are celebrating National Charter School Week.  According to an April poll released by Gallup, 59 percent of American’s are in support of federal funding going towards school choice programs that allows students to attend any private or public school.

Mississippi currently has three charter schools with one more scheduled to open this fall, all residing in Jackson.

Grant Callen is with Empower Mississippi and says, “We know that children in states across the nation, communities across the nation, and Jackson as well, are receiving a great education through charter schools.”

According to the National Charter School Resource Center, a Charter School is defined as an independently managed, publicly funded school operating under a “charter” or a contract between the state of jurisdiction, allowing for significant autonomy and flexibility.

Charter school are overwhelmingly supported by republicans with 74 percent approval. The majority of Democrats are in support as well with 38 percent claiming to be against school choice programs.

“Communities that see that traditional public schools are not meeting the needs of their students or the community, that’s were charter schools should be an option,” said Callen. “Charter schools have a different level of freedom to teach in innovative ways, and in exchange for that freedom they are held to a higher academic standard.”

In July, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against Mississippi over how charter schools are funded. SPLC claims the schools are unconstitutional in the way that they divert public tax dollars from traditional public school. A ruling is expected late summer.

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