Applicants seek to open charter schools

Published 12:01am Sunday, March 16, 2014

JACKSON (AP) — A dozen groups have filed applications for the first charter schools in Mississippi, including one in Natchez-Adams County.

Charter School Authorizer Board Chairman Tommie Cardin released Saturday the list of groups that met the 5 p.m. Friday deadline.

Included was Phoenix Early College Charter School, which seeks to serve grades ninth through 12th in Nathez-Adams County.

Lawmakers in 2013 approved an expanded law allowing charter schools — public schools run by private groups that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for less regulation — after a two-year fight.

The board is scheduled to vote on approvals in June. Board members have said they will be focused on making sure applicants pass a high bar, to guarantee effective schools.

Though the board has left open the possibility that schools could open in the fall, it has encouraged applicants to aim for fall 2015 as a more realistic goal.