MANTACHIE, Miss. (WTVA) -- During a visit to the state of Arkansas last December, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and several lawmakers took a look at a charter school.
Reeves told reporters he believes the same concept could work in the State of Mississippi.
In fact, he will push for that plan in the upcoming Legislative session next week.
So what is a charter school, you ask?
State Rep. Randy Boyd (R-Mantachie) backs the idea and breaks the concept down.
"A charter school is a school that has a contract with the government," Boyd said. "It has a contract and if for some reason they cannot fulfill their contract, then that contract states that they have to find a place for the children to go, they have to furnish transportation and buses for them to get the children there. And all of these things come out of the money appropriated per child that goes there."
Boyd calls it just another tool in the scheme of education, adding that this area would probably not need a charter school.
However he said the charter schools are more responsible in that they can be closed down if they don't perform, unlike public schools.
The bottom line, Boyd says: it would give people a choice of where to send their kids.
"I am much more interested in a public school system of education than a charter school system. I think it's creating a two-tier education sytem in the state, which is not healthy,"Rep. Steve Holland (D-Plantersville) said.
Holland sees things differently than Boyd.
In fact, Holland says Mississippi already has two education tiers, with both public and private schools.
He might favor looking at charter schools on a pilot basis, but right now the jury is still out.
"I don't think we know enough about what we are talking about. The results have not been good. We're in essence privatizing public education," Holland said. "I'm going to keep an open mind, but have a very dim view of it, quite frankly."
The charter school debate appears to be heating up just in time for the 2013 Legislative Session as lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, head back to Jackson Tuesday.
A charter school law would allow students from anywhere in the state to attend a charter school.
However, it would give school boards in the state's "star" or "high performing" districts the power to decide whether or not to allow them to operate within their borders.
A similar charter school measure was defeated during last year's session.