MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. – A change in state law could help the financially troubled Muskegon Heights Public Schools “charterize” its entire district, according to MLive.

Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon said he hopes to sign a contract with a private management firm by June 21 that will operate the district as charter public schools, MLive reported.

Senate Bill 618, which eliminated the arbitrary cap on the number of charter public schools allowed in Michigan, also removed a mandate for collective bargaining with teachers for conventional school districts that operate as charters.

“I think it’s a new day in education for the state of Michigan,” Dave Sipka, superintendent of the Muskegon Intermediate School District who also served as interim superintendent for Muskegon Heights, told MLive. “I think this is a historic move.”

SOURCE: MLive, “’A historic move’: Muskegon Heights teachers not sold on charter plan, but former superintendent is,” May 30, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “Muskegon Heights Emergency Manager Says No Consolidation,” May 22, 2012

MichiganVotes, “2011 Senate Bill 618”

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