Mississippi's first rural charter school set for Clarksdale

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi will be getting its first charter school serving a rural area.

The Charter School Authorizer Board on Monday unanimously approved plans for Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School to open in fall 2018.

The Clarksdale school would start with grades K-2, growing to 675 students in grades K-8 by 2028.

The board followed earlier committee recommendations in rejecting two other charter applications — for SR1 College Preparatory and STEM Academy in Canton and Truth Academy STEAM Charter School in Drew.

Some prominent state figures support the Clarksdale school in part because its leader, Amanda Johnson, was founding principal of a charter school in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas.

There is also heavy opposition from community figures who say Clarksdale is too small for a charter school to compete with existing public schools.

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