House passes bill to take over failing school districts

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A plan for a new statewide school district to take control of faltering local school districts is moving forward in the Mississippi House.

Representatives voted 82-38 to pass House Bill 989 Thursday, sending it to the Senate for more work.

The bill passed by the House was overhauled, putting the state Board of Education in charge instead of a separate seven-member board the bill originally proposed.

The achievement school district would take over any district rated “F” for two straight years, starting with yet-to-be released ratings for 2015-2016.

Districts could be run by charter operators. A district would remain in the achievement district until it scores a “C” rating or better for five years, plus a majority of parents and school employees vote to return it to local control.