Charter Schools: Each chamber took three separate votes on legislation to expand charter schools in Mississippi. The initial House legislation, HB 1044, would have only allowed students in school districts rated “D” or “F” to cross district lines. Conversely, the first vote on SB 2161 in the Senate would have allowed any student in the state to cross district lines and would have permitted charter schools to open in school districts rated “C.” The compromise bill that ultimately passed, SB 2161, allows students in school districts rated “C,” “D,” or “F” to cross district lines to attend a charter school. Previously, students were not allowed to cross district lines to attend a charter school.
Appointed Superintendents: The legislature voted to make all school superintendents appointed by January 2019. Currently, 55 of the 140 superintendents are elected.
Education Scholarship Account: The legislature voted to expand eligibility for the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs program to any student who has received an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in the past five years. Currently, a student must have received an IEP in the past 18 months to be eligible.
Dyslexia Scholarship: The legislature voted to renew the Dyslexia Scholarship program which was set to expire on June 30 and remove the repealer on the legislation.
REPORT CARD METHODOLOGY
Each lawmaker starts with an “A” grade, but has a letter grade deducted for each ‘No’ vote on a bill we included. They received half a letter grade deduction for each absence (or present vote), resulting in a full letter grade deduction for every two absences.