Four charter operators have moved to the next stage of the application process after the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board approved the proposals for completeness on Monday.

All four applicants — Clarksdale Collegiate, KC Schools Inc., Shades of Elegance and SR1 — are new operators vying to open schools in Clarksdale, South Pike, Sunflower County and Canton school districts, respectively.

If approved, all schools would open in the 2018-2019 school year. The deadline for completed proposals was May 9.

The board rejected the applications of Girls Club and Learning Center, which sought to open a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade school in Greenwood, and Success Prep Incorporated, which sought to open a K-12 school in Jackson.

The board will meet again July 10 to deliver its Stage 2 findings, which includes evaluation of each application’s components such as the financial plan and the enrollment and discipline policies, among others.

Charter School Authorizer Board Executive Director Marian Schutte also announced the June meeting will be the last for board member Johnny Franklin, whose term expires in July. Franklin was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant and will be replaced by Leland Speed.

Speed, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of EastGroup Properties, will serve on the board from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021.


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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.