June 6, 2017 10:11:24 AM
JACKSON -- The Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board on Monday approved four new school proposals for further consideration.
The board accepted applications in Canton, Clarksdale, Drew and Magnolia as complete, setting them up for possible approval when the board votes again Sept. 11, after reviewing the plans. The board will hold a public hearing on each proposal.
Nine operators had expressed interest in applying in March. Groups that proposed to serve Durant, Columbus and Jackson didn't submit applications. Applications by groups that wanted to serve Greenwood and Jackson were ruled incomplete and will not advance.
No organization that currently runs a charter school has applied. Mississippi's process has heavily favored experienced operators in the past. Startup groups sometimes have trouble proving they have the money and institutional heft to run a school.
The state board has approved four charter schools so far, all in Jackson, with three now serving 500 children. The fourth is scheduled to open in fall 2018. Charter schools remain a tiny share of Mississippi's overall public school enrollment of 482,000.
Applicants moving ahead are:
-- Clarksdale Collegiate, which proposes to open a school in Clarksdale serving grades K-3 in 2018, growing to grades K-8.
-- KC Schools Inc., which proposes to open a school in Magnolia serving grades 5-9 in 2017, growing to grades pre-K-12.
-- SR1 , which proposes to open a school in Canton serving kindergarten in 2018 and growing to grades K-12
-- Shades of Elegance Corp., which proposes to open a school in Drew serving grades K-6 in 2018, growing to grades K-8.
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