This year, the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board (MCSAB) has approved the application of three more charter schools, bringing the total count to eight public charter schools in Mississippi. Charter schools are free public schools. They get their name from the contract—or charter—that the school signs with the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board. The charter describes the rights and responsibilities of the school and contains goals for the school’s academic and financial performance.
At the September board meeting of the MCSAB, the board approved Ambition Prep’s application. Ambition Prep will serve students in the city of Jackson. It will provide seats for 675 students when it is at full capacity and will eventually serve students from grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. In the fall of 2019, it will start enrolling Kindergarten and first-grade students. Each year thereafter, it will add additional grades until the school is fully grown.
“We are excited about our recent approval to open a charter school in Jackson. For the next eight months, we will recruit an incredible team and work tirelessly to ensure that the plans we have presented will be successfully implemented. We will also continue to engage with community members and strive to create a school that meets the needs of families in Jackson,” said founding school leader, DeArchie Scott.
During the October meeting, the Authorizer Board approved the application for two RePublic Schools, Inc. charters: K-8 school Revive Prep and grade 9-12 RePublic High School. This means RePublic Schools has now been approved to operate five out of eight of the charter schools in Mississippi. Reimagine Prep has served students since 2015. Smilow Prep opened in 2016, and this year Smilow Collegiate welcomed students for the first time. This most recent approval of RePublic High School is also historical because it will be the first public charter high school in the state.
Currently, there are five charter schools operating in Mississippi, four in Jackson and one in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Like traditional public schools, charter schools:
- Must accept all students who apply, unless there is not enough room, in which case they must randomly draw names for admission.
- Cannot charge tuition.
- Administer the MAAP state tests and are rated by the same accountability system as mandated by the Mississippi Department of Education.
- Are subject to restrictions on teaching religious doctrine.
- May not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, disability or other categories, including academic or athletic ability.
- Are subject to an independent audit of their finances.
- Are subject to civil rights, health, and safety laws.
To learn more information about charter schools in Mississippi, visit our charter school page.