I’ve just finished looking over the Senate-passed version of House bill 1152, which can be found here: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2012/pdf/sam/HB1152_S_Amend_01.pdf

One part in particular begs to be revealed ASAP. It consists of lines 370–375 on page 11, which read:

(e) The authorizer may exempt charter schools from the provisions of Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972, which relate to the elementary and secondary education of public school students, unless those provisions are specifically made applicable to charter schools by the authorizer in the charter contract or by this act.

(For those of you who are new to this discussion, the “authorizer” would be an autonomous state board of individuals — mostly appointed by the Governor and Lt. Governor — who would oversee the State’s charter schools).

Not being an attorney, I wondered what “Title 37 of the Mississippi Code” meant. A Google search brought me here:  http://www.mscode.com/free/statutes/37/index.htm

It turns out that “Title 37″ consists of seventy-eight separate chapters of laws related to education in Mississippi; “pesky” little laws that cover things like student expulsions, minimum teacher salaries and school accreditation.

Of course, given the fact that charter school teachers are typically paid less than traditional public school teachers, as evidenced in states like Indiana( http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110424/LOCAL04/304249877/1002/LOCAL ) and Michigan(http://www.mlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/04/michigan_charter_schools_spend.html ), this should come as no surprise.

And who cares about the fact that lower pay means higher teacher turnover in charter schools, as evidenced in this 2010 study from Vanderbilt University: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/schoolchoice/documents/briefs/brief_stuit_smith_ncspe.pdf 

And, of course, it only seems natural for charter backers and operators to lobby for immunity from any “overreaching” laws that protect children who are “different” from expulsion(As was the case in one of Harlem’s beloved  Success Academies: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/nyregion/charter-school-sends-message-thrive-or-transfer.html?_r=1&ref=charterschools ).


About The Public School Warrior

I am a product of Mississippi's public schools.
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