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State Senate approves school-takeover bill

JACKSON — Requirements for the Mississippi Department of Education to take over dozens of struggling schools would be eased under a proposal moving forward in the Legislature.

The state Senate approved an amended version of House Bill 455 today, sending it back to the House for more work.

Today, the state would be required to take over as many as 52 failing schools if they rated “F” at the end of this school year. The bill makes such takeovers of individual schools optional. It also says that the state would restart counting how many years a school must be rated “F,” with two consecutive “F” years before a takeover required starting in 2014-2015.

The measure also removes a requirement that the head of the state charter school board also be a lawyer.

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