MS addressing 'misinformation' re: Charter schools

Friday, February 1, 2013
 | 
Russ Jones (OneNewsNow.com)

Efforts to expand charter schools in Mississippi are front and center as state lawmakers begin the 2013 legislative session. But some opponents claim charters will increase segregation.

A panel of five state legislators talked about various issues in Oxford, Mississippi, Monday at a chamber of commerce event. The hot topic was a proposed bill that would open charter schools in an effort to address The Magnolia State's ailing education system.

Tollison, Gray (R-MS)State Senator Gray Tollison (R) contends the argument that charter schools lead to re-segregation is nothing more than a scare tactic.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there," he recognizes. "We're trying to reach out to serve those students who are in a lot of poor [schools] -- academically underserved, economically underserved -- and trying to reach out there to give them the education that their parents want for them."

He pointed out at the meeting that families who live in districts with underperforming schools will benefit, as studies find low-income students excel in such programs.

"It has given an equal opportunity to children who currently don't have it … an opportunity to succeed," the Republican asserts. "Whether it's career or college, [charter schools] will give them an equal opportunity."

Mississippi ranks at the bottom of national lists in K-12 achievement, with a new ranking system showing the state ranks last in science education.

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