Gov. Bryant names three to charter school board

JACKSON — Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed three members to the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board, the board responsible for approving and overseeing public charter schools in Mississippi.

Each of the governor’s appointees represents a Mississippi Supreme Court District, and each appointee will serve a four-year term beginning Sept. 1.

Johnny Franklin of Bolton will represent Supreme Court District 1, Chris Wilson of Laurel will represent District 2 and Krystal Cormack of Clarksdale will represent District 3.

books“We are raising the bar for all public schools, and that includes allowing families to choose the best possible education for their children. Charter schools will provide new opportunities in Mississippi, and the members of this authorizing board will play an important role in establishing successful public charter schools in our state.

“These appointees bring a wealth of diverse experience to the table, and I am confident Mississippi will benefit from their expertise,” Bryant said in a statement.

Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves each get three appointments to the board, while the state superintendent of education gets one. The appointments require Senate confirmation.

The board will seek proposals for charter schools by Dec. 1. Mississippi law enacted in 2012 expands authority to create charter schools — public schools run by private groups that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for less regulation.

The board can approve up to 15 qualified public charter school applications each fiscal year. Applications to locate a public charter school within the boundaries of a school district rated A, B or C by the Mississippi Department of Education must receive majority support from the local school board. The charter board is also responsible for overseeing charter school operations and deciding whether to renew or revoke charter contracts.

Franklin began his career in 1967 as a teacher and coach at Warren Central High School. He later served the Warren County School District as principal of Warren Central Junior High School, principal of Warren Central High School and assistant superintendent for instruction for the district. Most recently, he served as education policy adviser to Phil Bryant and former Gov. Haley Barbour.

Wilson is the managing partner of First Choice, LLC, a real estate brokerage and development firm that he founded in 1974. He has served the Jones County Economic Development Authority for many years and was chairman of the education task force from 2008-2012. In 2008, he initiated the Jones County Education Symposium to increase awareness about the importance of quality public education.

Cormack is an educator and classroom teacher. Most recently Cormack served as lead teacher at Crenshaw Elementary for the Barksdale Reading Institute where she manages curriculum and teaches reading and language arts to fourth and fifth grade students.

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