Only one of three applicants vying to open the first charter schools outside the Jackson city limits is still in the game.

The applications committee of the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board, the board that approves new charter schools and oversees ones already in operation, voted unanimously on Tuesday to recommend denying the proposals of SR1 and Shades of Elegance Corp.

The two groups had hoped to open schools in Sunflower County and Canton public school districts in the 2018-2019 school year.

The committee made its recommendations based on the findings of independent evaluations, which are not yet public.

Last week, the committee recommended that the board approve Clarksdale Collegiate’s proposal to open a school in Clarksdale, making it the only applicant with a real chance at winning approval from the full board.

The board, which will meet Sept. 11 to make a final decision, did not approve any applicants during last year’s cycle.

Mississippi currently has three charter schools, all located in the Jackson Public School District: Midtown Public Charter School (5th – 8th grades); Reimagine Prep (5th – 7th grades); and Smilow Prep (5th – 6th grades).


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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.