Charter school needs no further approval, says state charter school authorizer board

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2022

NATCHEZ — A Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board representative said the Instant Impact Global Prep charter school approved Sept. 26 for Natchez does not need further approval from any governing body.

“The application approved by the MCSAB does not have to be approved by the Natchez-Adams School District,” said Jordan Harris, office administrator for the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board. “At the time the application was submitted by Instant Impact, the school district was not rated an A, B, or C. The law states that the designation of the school rating relative to the application is at the time of the application.”

On the morning of Sept. 27, the Natchez-Adams School District received the news the school earned a B rating. If a school district is rated an A, B, or C, charter schools approved for those districts must also be approved by the local school board, according to Mississippi law. After earning that rating, some school officials were hopeful that would be the case with Instant Impact Global Prep.

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“The opening of a charter school in Natchez has the potential to impact all schools in the area,” Butcher commented on the day the charter school application was approved. “Starting as a K-2 school, parents would have an additional tuition-free, local option for educating their students, possibly impacting the public school district as well as our local private and parochial schools.

“Charter schools are funded based on student enrollment. Therefore, local, state, and federal money allocated to serve students would be distributed to the charter school to meet the needs of those students,” Butcher said on Sept. 29.

When contacted Wednesday afternoon, Butcher reserved further comment on the charter school approval, saying he and others in the school district need more information and to study the situation.

JoAnn Rucker, a South Natchez graduate now living in Texas, is CEO of Instant Impact Educational Services and plans to open a public school here beginning with K-2 in the fall of 2023. She will add grades gradually after that year until the school eventually serves K-8 grades. Rucker said she as yet does not have a location for the school.