/Charter school board OKs four groups for final selection round

Charter school board OKs four groups for final selection round

Officials announced Monday that three schools were removed from the process of opening a charter school. The Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board approved seven charter school applicants last month. These groups could open up to eight schools. They are: Three independent evaluators from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers reviewed each proposal and found three groups “substantially insufficient”: Girls Club and Learning Center (KMartin Group), Mississippi Community Education Center (Mississippi Community Education Center) and Girls Club and Learning Center (Girls Club and Learning Center). The board denied Girls Club and Learning Center because of problems with the school’s proposed staffing structure, start-up plan, and financial plan. KMartin Group’s Highpoint Academy of Excellence was rejected because the start-up plan failed to show that applicants could open on time. Their financial plan was also questioned in the evaluation. Mississippi Community Education Center wanted to open Leflore County Charter School. However, the authorizer board rejected their application due to concerns about the school’s disciplinary plans and their negative budget projections. The five other schools, SR1 Academy and Mississippi Delta Academies, were found to be inadequate by the evaluators, who will move on to the next stage of the application process. Each proposal will be reviewed by independent evaluators who will interview the candidates. Public hearings will be held for applicants in mid-August. The authorizer board will then announce its decision on Sept. 10. Charter schools are private, but they do not charge tuition. Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools and must follow the same academic standards as traditional public schools. Charter schools allow administrators and teachers more freedom in the instruction of students. Mississippi’s legislature passed the law allowing charter schools to operate in 2013. The state has since approved five schools: ReImagine Prep and Midtown Public Charter School, as well as Joel E. Smilow Prep. These schools operate in Jackson as middle schools. In the 2018-19 school year, Clarksdale Collegiate Prep and Joel E. Smilow Collegiate both open in Clarksdale.