Hearing held about Mississippi charter schools law

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — A group of parents is fighting to keep tax money out of charter schools, another group is arguing that it is constitutional.

A Hinds County Chancery Judge heard arguments in the case. The lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the state last July says that money taken from the Jackson Public School District and given to charter schools is unconstitutional and that property taxes shouldn’t be shared with schools they don’t control.

Cassandra Overton-Welchlin is a plaintiff against moving the money to charters.

“Parents can choose wherever they want their children to go, but what I don’t agree with is taking those local dollars and putting it towards those schools.”

“Those local tax dollars are going directly to fund the education of those children, and we believe under the Mississippi constitution that is constitutional,” said Mike Hurst, director of the Mississippi Justice Institute.

The judge set deadlines in the case for May and June with a decision to be made after that. An attorney for Jackson Public School District stated during the hearing that JPS had paid $1.5 million to charter schools since the first one opened in Jackson two years ago.

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