Meridian Star


February 21, 2012

More about charter school bill


    Many of your readers may be aware of the charter schools Senate Bill 2401 that is currently working it's way through the Mississippi Legislature. I am a parent of two children who are thriving in our public schools, and have a third who will start next year. I am aware that charter schools can benefit students whose needs are not being met by a local school district. They can also rob a district of desperately needed funding, and in the case of this bill, take money from Meridian/Lauderdale County, and send that money to another county all together.

    The Virtual Charter School provision allows children in one district to attend online classes, and the funding from their district would go to the County the actual brick and mortar school is in. This could be disastrous to our local school funding. Currently, children who take virtual classes do not affect our public school funding.

    Also alarming about this bill is the lack of a provision that only allows charter schools in districts that are failing to provide adequate services to the students. Any charter school law should restrict charter schools to chronically underperforming school districts. In addition, for profit companies should not be allowed to open a school, and any charter school that is allowed to open should have a proven track record! Please contact your legislator and weigh in on this very important issue, and the amendments that this bill needs to protect our community and our schools.

Joel Hamilton


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