Lifting charter cap on Senate education agenda

LANSING, Mich. — State universities would be allowed to sponsor more charter public schools under the terms of a reform package that the Senate Education Committee is expected to consider in September, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service.

The package of up to 10 bills also may include measures on cyber schools and on the new statewide educational authority intended to oversee failing schools, MIRS reported.

Gov. Rick Snyder called for more charter and online opportunities in his education message, MIRS reported. The state Legislature allowed a limited increase in charter schools as part of the competition for federal Race to the Top funding in 2009, according to MIRS.

“We have to take a hard look at creating more opportunities for parents and students,” Rep. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, chairman of the education committee, told MIRS.

Snyder also called for all public schools to become Schools of Choice, meaning any student could enroll as long as the school has room, MIRS reported. About 75 percent of Michigan schools already have open enrollment, Pavlov told MIRS.

However, the idea of mandating Schools of Choice has generated concern in some districts that say that an influx of lower-performing students would drive down test scores, MIRS noted.


Michigan Information & Research Service Inc., “Senate Package Could Lift Charter Cap,” Aug. 17, 2011 (Subscription required)


Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “How to Renew Michigan,” Feb. 10, 2011