Lawsuit Seeks to Block Charter Schools in Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A new lawsuit seeks to block charter schools in Mississippi, arguing that they violate the state constitution by making school districts share property tax collections with schools they don’t control.
Southern Poverty Law Center filed the suit Monday in Hinds County Chancery Court on behalf of seven parents who send their children to Jackson Public Schools. The suit is against the Jackson school district, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Department of Education.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant criticized the lawsuit, calling it a frivolous attempt by “Democrats and their allies” to usurp decisions made by the Republican-majority Legislature.
He says the charter school law he signed in 2013 “has proven effective at lifting poor and undeserved children out of failing districts.”
Charter schools are operated by private, nonprofit groups. They receive tax money but are operated by a board that’s separate from local school districts and from the state Board of Education.
The state’s only two charter schools are in Jackson, and a third one is set to open in the city this year.
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