Gov. Snyder clarifies, vows to enforce higher cyber charter cap

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan issued a joint press release making it clear that they will enforce a higher cap on cyber charter public schools, according to The Detroit Free Press.

According to the Free Press, the confusion stemmed from two different cap levels contained in the bill’s language. An amendment capped the number of Michigan students who could enroll in a cyber charter public school at 2 percent of the total Michigan student population. But other wording raises the number of schools allowed to operate in the state from two to 15, while the number of students each school could enroll will rise from 1,000 to 10,000. Those conditions would have allowed up to 10 percent of the state student population to enroll in an online charter public school, the Free Press reported.

In their press release, Gov. Snyder and Flanagan stated it was their understanding that the 2 percent limit was the intended effective cap. House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, told The Detroit News that was indeed the Legislature’s intended meaning.

“Our amendments to Senate Bill 619 placed several caps on charter cyber schools, including the number of schools and total enrollment. Among these is that enrollment is limited to 2 percent of the total student population in Michigan. The 2-percent student population cap was clearly our intent and will clearly be the law,” he said in a press release.

According to The Free Press, the bill is currently headed to the governor’s desk and he is expected to sign it in the near future.

SOURCES: The Detroit Free Press, “Snyder, Flanagan vow to enforce bill to expand number of charter schools," May 3, 2012

The Detroit News, “Bolger: Executive branch must enforce cyber school enrollment cap," May 3, 2012

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Virtual Learning Can Improve Outcomes and Save Money," Jan. 31, 2012