Charter schools to expand in Mississippi

Published: Dec. 5, 2016 at 12:19 PM CST
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Two Mississippi charter schools have gotten approval to expand enrollments, despite concerns over low test scores in one school's first year of operation.

The Charter School Authorizer Board Monday approved plans for RePublic Schools to expand its two middle schools in Jackson to 600 students apiece. Serving grades 5-8, ReImagine Prep and Smilow Prep were each previously approved for fewer than 500 students.

Outgoing CEO Ravi Gupta says the schools are getting more applications than there are currently slots. Addressing test score concerns, Gupta and regional director Kate Cooper say RePublic has overhauled its approach to reading instruction.

RePublic also won approval to delay the opening of an elementary school from fall 2017 until fall 2018. Gupta says RePublic wants to hold off because it hasn't hired a principal yet.