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School choice rally held as fate of bills remains unclear

Mississippi’s elected leaders say they support letting parents choose private or public schools for students using public money, but it’s unclear if such proposals will advance this year.

Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn, all Republicans, spoke Tuesday at a school choice rally attended by hundreds of students.

Conservative groups that organized the rally are pushing for movement on Senate Bill 2623 and House Bill 1339 , which would expand Mississippi’s program that now sends some students who need special education services to private school. The bills would allow students without disabilities to use the money.

Gunn and Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison both say they’re waiting to see if there’s enough support to move forward with bills. Some public school advocates oppose them.

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