HB 502 proposes the creation of the Mississippi Achievement School District (MASD) to absorb persistently failing schools into a statewide district.
The MASD will operate as a local education agency (LEA).
The MASD will be run by an appointed superintendent and governed by a 7-member appointed board of directors with broad geographic and demographic representation. Appointments will be made by the governor (3 members), lieutenant governor (3 members), and the state superintendent of education. Terms of board members are to be staggered.
The MASD board of directors shall appoint a highly-qualified superintendent who will have responsibility for the selection and supervision of school principals and for oversight and management of the constituent MASD schools.
Schools that for two consecutive years are rated “F” by the Mississippi Accountability System are required to be absorbed into the MASD.
Students will remain in their schools; the principals of those schools will no longer report to the home district administration, rather, they will report to the MASD board and superintendent.
Accountability ratings assigned to the constituent schools within the MASD will be included in the overall evaluation of accountability both the schools district from which it was absorbed and the MASD.
Schools may be returned to the jurisdiction of the home district, once the school has improved its accountability rating, at the discretion of the MASD board of directors. The start-up operations of the MASD will be funded through a state appropriation.
Following the absorption of schools into the district, the operations of the MASD will be funded as are other traditional public school districts, with local, state, and federal funding to follow the student.