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Charter schools are nonsectarian public schools of choice that operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools The charter establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the schools mission program goals students served methods of assessment and ways to measure success The length of time for which charters are granted vary but most are granted for 3-5 years At the end of the term the body granting the charter may renew the schools contract Charter schools are accountable to their sponsor usually a state or local school board to produce positive academic results and stick to the charter contract The basic concept of charter schools is that they exercise increased independence in return for this accountability They are accountable for both academic results and economic practices to several groups These are the sponsor that grants them the parents who choose them and the public that funds them Mississippis charter school law was passed in 1997 Eligible operators of Mississippis charter schools are restricted to existing public schools There is one school currently operating in the state This school began operation in June 1999 It is the Hayes Cooper Center for Math Science and Technology in Merigold MS Hayes Cooper was established as a magnet school in 1991 It received charter status from the state of MS on December 19 1997 It currently has under 500 students and serves kindergarten through sixth grade It is located in the Mississippi Delta and has a ratio of 50 white and 50 blackThe intention of most charter school legislation is toh Increase opportunities for learning and access to quality education for all students h Create choice for parents and students within the public school system h Provide a system of accountability for results in public education h Encourage innovative teaching practices h Create new professional opportunities for teachers h Encourage community and parent involvement in public education h Leverage
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