CLARKSDALE, Miss. – Mississippi Republicans are making a new turn in long-running efforts to improve the state's education system.
Gov. Phil Bryant has signed measures easing charter school creation and holding back third-graders who can't read. The Republican controlled Legislature also approved state-funded prekindergarten and higher qualifications and merit pay for teachers.
Bryant says the changes, many of which he pushed, will improve what he calls a "fairly ineffective educational system." By many measures, Mississippi has shown improvement in recent decades, but still lags behind.
The changes come atop existing improvement efforts in places like Clarksdale, a town in the state's Delta region which struggles with poverty and falling population.
Superintendent Dennis Dupree has adopted efforts to create a stronger high school curriculum, pay teachers based on achievement and create preschool programs.
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