Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant tells The Associated Press that education dominates his 2013 legislative agenda, from merit pay for teachers to charter schools that will receive public funding but be free of some regulations.
The three-month session begins at noon Jan. 8, and Republican Bryant is beginning his second year as governor.
He says students who aren't proficient readers at the end of third grade should be held back and given more intense instruction. He proposes allowing students in schools graded D or F to cross district lines to attend schools with better academic performance if space is available in the stronger schools. Public funding would follow the student.
Bryant says he'll push again for an immigration-enforcement bill, and he trusts law enforcement officers not to use racial profiling.
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