Jansen Owen


2024 Session


Latest Action

The House and Senate failed to file a conference report for HB 1683 by the April 29 deadline, causing this bill to die in conference.

Explanation of the Bill

The strike-all amendment for House Bill 1683 passed by the Senate Education Committee includes the same language as Senate Bill 2690. It deletes the provision of the law that requires the Mississippi Charter Authorizer Board (MCSAB) to be given three percent of per-pupil allocations received by each charter school. Instead, it would require the MCSAB to be funded solely through an appropriation from the legislature. Additionally, the strike-all amendment changes the charter school funding formula to use average daily attendance in calculating per-pupil allocations. The formula currently uses average daily membership. 

As introduced, House Bill 1683 would make numerous technical and substantive modifications to current laws that govern charter schools. These changes are as follows:

Technical Changes

Legal Status for Charter Management Organizations

HB 1683 would provide a clear legal status to charter management organizations (CMOs), which are entities that operate more than one charter school. It would allow a CMO to operate as a local educational agency (LEA) that oversees multiple schools, similar to a school district. Currently, each school under a CMO is treated as a separate LEA. 

Clarification of the Definition of a Charter School

HB 1683 clarifies that a charter school is a construct of a charter contract that has been approved by an authorizer. The contract is held by a nonprofit organization that has applied to operate the school. The nonprofit organization is not the same as the school, as the nonprofit organization can exist without the charter contract; however, a charter school cannot exist without a charter contract.

Clarification of Responsibilities of Charter School Authorizers

HB 1683 includes language clarifying that charter school authorizers have implied authority that is inherent to serving as an authorizer. This authority includes, for example, the ability to amend charter contracts and approve school mergers.

The bill clarifies that authorizers may use a rolling application process. An authorizer may also choose to accept abbreviated charter school applications that only include the essential elements of the application, provided that all elements are submitted and evaluated prior to final approval. 

The bill would require authorizers to provide charter school applicants that progress past the initial stage of the application process, but are ultimately denied approval, the chance to remedy any deficiencies in their application. It would require the authorizer to reconsider the updated application before the next regular application process. 

The bill clarifies that the Authorizer Board is subject to the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law for any rule, policy, guideline, or other regulation, including performance framework, renewal framework, or any other relevant document with which schools are mandated to comply.  It would require authorizers to act in accordance with law or written, adopted, and published policies, and would require investigations to be based on reasonable suspicion.

The bill would require an evaluation of each authorizer by a national expert selected by the State Auditor every three years. If no funds are appropriated for such an evaluation, the authorizer would be required to fund it. The State Auditor would report on the findings, including whether any authorizer should be decommissioned.

HB 1683 would allow charter schools to change authorizers under specific conditions and  specifies the process for doing so (if multiple authorizers were ever to pass).

Teacher Licensure (Technical)

The bill clarifies that provisionally licensed and licensed-but-teaching-out-of-field teachers may not be counted against a charter school’s licensure exemption percentage.

Substantive Changes

Clarification of Roles on Charter School Authorizer Board

The MCSAB is comprised of one appointee from the State Superintendent of Education, three appointees from the Governor, and three appointees from the Lieutenant Governor. HB 1683 includes specific language to clarify that the State Superintendent’s appointee to the Authorizer Board need not be an employee of the Mississippi Department of Education. 

HB 1683 would require the chairman of the MCSAB to be selected from the six appointees of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The current law allows any of the seven appointees to be selected as chairman. 

Funding of MCSAB

The current law requires charter schools to provide 3% of their per-pupil allocations to the MCSAB. HB 1683 would change the law so that the authorizer may collect “up to” 3% of this amount, with the MCSAB setting the exact amount annually in a board meeting. The MCSAB would be prohibited from receiving a fee from schools and a state appropriation. 

Pre-Opening Conditions

HB 1683 requires an authorizer to publish pre-opening conditions for every authorized school and requires documentation that each school has met pre-opening conditions prior to opening.


The bill clarifies that charter schools may serve students in pre-kindergarten but will not receive additional state funding for this purpose. 

The bill clarifies that the authorizer should compare the same grade spans when determining if they meet the required threshold for the underserved composition of their school. 

It also enables the authorizer to consider state or federal remediation plans for the disproportionate identification of students with disabilities in a traditional district when determining the appropriate level of students with disabilities in a charter school.

The bill allows charter schools to stop its enrollment preference for underserved students once it has met its required underserved enrollment.

The bill permits children who transfer schools within a CMO or who graduate from one level to the next (e.g., elementary school to middle school) within a CMO to enroll in the school without reapplying or going through the lottery process. 

Additionally, HB 1683 clarifies that children in the same household may attend the same charter school regardless of the years in which they enroll. It allows the siblings and foster siblings of an enrolled charter school student, as well as the children of employees, to attend charter schools regardless of the district grade at the time of the child(ren)’s enrollment.

HB 1683 would enable students who qualify to transfer schools under the existing law to choose to transfer to a charter school. The law currently only allows them to transfer to another traditional public school.  

Charter School Renewal

The bill requires renewal for schools meeting overall expectations and clarifies that conditions can be imposed on schools not meeting overall expectations. It grants charter schools that are renewed for fewer than five years the same rights to appeal as they possess if they are revoked or not renewed, and it requires the authorizer to describe its rationale in such cases.

The bill moves the renewal application deadline to December 1 of the final year of a school’s contract. It allows charter schools to apply for early renewal (in Year 4 instead of Year 5) based on authorizer rules for early renewal.

The bill requires non-renewal for schools with a history of poor performance (which it defines as receiving an “F” for a school’s three most recent consecutive years of operation).

The bill requires an authorizer to justify why a school received a shortened renewal term and base such their reasoning on existing law for non-renewal or revocation.

Performance Evaluation of Charter Schools
The bill prohibits the performance framework from duplicating the accreditation process or letter grades of MDE and requires achievement gap comparisons only for proficiency between applicable subgroups. It removes some postsecondary indicators due to a lack of data.

The bill requires a version of the performance framework for multi-charter organizations (such as CMOs) as well as single-site schools, and it provides direction on differentiating performance across multi-charter organizations.

The bill caps the percentage weight given to district-to-charter comparisons in measuring charter school performance and requires any comparisons to be based on statistically valid and reliable comparison groups.

The bill allows academic performance targets to be amended by mutual agreement after baseline data is collected and allows academic performance targets to vary by school based on baseline data.

Reporting Requirements

The bill updates the date of the legislative report to December 1. It separates the authorizer report on the charter sector into an annual report on school performance and market demand and a report every five years comparing students in charters with similar students in traditional public schools. It clarifies the substance of each report (substantively the same information as already law) and prevents the authorizer from using such a report to evaluate a specific school. It eliminates the need for an annual PEER report. 

Calculation of Funds

The bill corrects the calculation of the denominator in determining the share of local funds charter schools should receive. Correcting this error in the calculation of local tax revenue will benefit local school districts. The bill updates calculations to refer to ADM and updates references to the state public school funding formula.

Accounting Standards

The bill establishes accounting standards for charter schools and requires the State Auditor to consult with nationally recognized experts to develop rules and regulations for charter schools. It prohibits the use of the MDE accounting manual. 

Multiple Charter School Authorizers

HB 1683 would allow for multiple bodies to authorize the creation of charter schools. Currently, the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board (MCSAB) is the only body that is permitted to authorize the creation of charter schools. The proposed legislation would allow colleges or universities, including community colleges, the Institute of Higher Learning, and the Mississippi Community College Board, to create offices through which they authorize charter schools.

Additional authorizers would have the same powers and duties, and would be subjected to the same restrictions, as the MCSAB. 

Expansion of Districts Eligible for Charter Applications

HB 1683 would allow potential charter school operators to submit applications for charter schools to open within the bounds of school districts that have received an accountability grade of “C,” “D,” or “F” at any point within the previous three years, without the approval of a local school board. 

Currently, applications for charter schools may only be submitted in districts with a rating of “D” or “F” at the time of application, unless the applicant has approval from the school board of the district in which they wish to open the school. 

Expansion of Student Eligibility

HB 1683 would allow students in districts that received an accountability rating of “C,” “D,” or “F” at any point within the previous five years to cross district lines to enroll in a charter school. Currently, students are only able to cross district lines to attend a charter school if their current district had a rating of “C,” “D,” or “F” during the time the charter school was approved or at the time of the student’s enrollment. 

Teacher Licensure

The bill increases the percentage of teachers in a given charter school that are exempt from state teacher licensure requirements from 25% to 50%.

2/19/24On February 19, HB 1672 was referred to the House Education and Appropriations A Committees.
2/28/24On February 28, the House Education Committee passed a committee substitute for HB 1683. The committee substitute brings forward provisions of the Mississippi Charter School Act of 2013, and related code sections, for possible amendment.
3/14/24On March 13, the House adopted and amended the committee substitute for HB 1683. As amended, the bill contains a reverse repealed and stipulates that charter school employees who have completed the requirements for National Board Certification are entitled to a $6,000 salary supplement.
4/2/24On April 2, the Senate Education Committee passed a strike-all amendment for HB 1683. The strike-all replaces the language in the House version of the bill with the language in SB 2690.
4/9/24On April 9, the Senate passed HB 1683 as amended by the Senate Education Committee.
4/15/24On April 15, the House invited conference on HB 1683.
4/29/24The House and Senate failed to file a conference report for HB 1683 by the April 29 deadline, causing this bill to die in conference.