Charter Schools Bill Passes Mississippi House

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Mississippi House members approved a bill 64-55 to expand charter schools in the state.

Debate continued until early Thursday morning. Backers amended the bill Wednesday to bar charter schools from hiring for-profit management organizations.

It was the longest debate since Republicans took over the House in 2012.

Charter schools are public schools that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for freedom from regulations.

Proponents say they can improve academic achievement, especially among low-performing students.

Opponents say they will drain high-performing students and money from traditional schools.

Voting yes were 58 Republicans and six Democrats. Voting no were six Republicans and 49 Democrats. One Democrat did not vote and one Republican was absent.
Republicans voting yes (58):
Alday, Walls; Arnold, Booneville; Baker, Brandon; Barker, Hattiesburg; Barton, Moss Point; Beckett, Bruce; Bell, Fulton; Bennett, Long Beach; Bounds, Philadelphia; Boyd, Mantachie; Brown, Aberdeen; Busby, Pascagoula; Byrd, Petal; Carpenter, Burnsville; Chism, Columbus; Crawford, Pass Christian; Currie, Brookhaven; DeBar, Leakesville; DeLano, Biloxi; Denny, Jackson; Eure, Biloxi; Formby, Picayune; Frierson, Poplarville; Gipson, Braxton; Guice, Ocean Springs; Gunn, Clinton; Haney, Gulfport; Hood, Ackerman; Horne, Meridian; Howell, Kilmichael; M. Huddleston, Pontotoc; Kinkade, Byhalia; Ladner, Poplarville; Lamar, Senatobia; Lott, Sumrall; Martinson, Madison; Mayo, Oxford; McLeod, Lucedale; Mettetal, Sardis; Mims, Natchez; Monsour, Vicksburg; Moore, Brandon; Morgan, Morgantown; Pigott, Tylertown; Powell, Brandon; Read, Gautier; Rushing, Decatur; Shirley, Quitman; Shows, Ellisville; J. Smith, Columbus; Snowden, Meridian; Staples, Laurel; Taylor, Boyle; Turner, Baldwyn; Upshaw, Diamondhead; Weathersby, Florence; White, West; Zuber, Ocean Springs.
Democrats voting yes (6):
Cockerham, Magnolia; Dixon, Jackson; Espy, Clarksdale; Flaggs, Vicksburg; Malone, Carthage; Warren, Mount Olive.
Democrats voting no (49):
Bailey, Greenville; Bain, Corinth; Banks, Jackson; Baria, Bay St. Louis; Barnes, Gulfport; Blackmon, Canton; Broomfield, Moss Point; Brown, Jackson; K. Buck, Holly Springs; K. C. Buck, Jackson; Burnett, Tunica; Calhoun, Jackson; Clark, Pickens; Clarke, Jackson; L. Coleman, Mound Bayou; M. Coleman, Jackson; Dickson, Macon; Eaton, Taylorsville; Ellis, Starkville; B. Evans, Monticello; J. Evans, Jackson; M. Evans, Preston; Gardner, Batesville; Harrison, Columbus; Hines, Greenville; Holland, Plantersville; Horan, Grenada; R. Huddleston, Sumner; Johnson, Natchez; Lane, Waynesboro; Middleton, Port Gibson; Miles, Forest; Moak, Bogue Chitto; Myers, McComb; Oberhousen, Jackson; Patterson, Biloxi; Perkins, Greenwood; Reynolds, Water Valley; Scott, Laurel; F. Smith, Carthage; Steverson, Ripley; Straughter, Belzoni; Stringer, Montrose; Sullivan, Okolona; Thomas, Indianola; Watson, Hattiesburg; Whittington, Schlater; Wooten, Jackson; Young, Meridian.
Republicans voting no (6):
Hamilton, Olive Branch; Jennings, Southaven; Massengill, Hickory Flat; Nelson, Southaven; M. Rogers, New Albany; R. Rogers, Pearl.
Democrats not voting (1):
Holloway, Hazlehurst.
Absent (1):
Aldridge, Tupelo.

The Senate passed a broader bill last week, and the House and the Senate must agree on a version before it can go to Gov. Phil Bryant, who supports charter schools.