Bill raising cyber charter cap moves to senate

LANSING, Mich. – A bill raising the arbitrary cap on the number of cyber charter public schools allowed in Michigan narrowly passed the state House and has cleared the state Senate, according to The Detroit News. It now awaits Gov. Rick Snyder’s approval.

Under current state law, the number of cyber charter public schools allowed to operate in Michigan is capped at two. According to the Lansing State Journal, the bill in question would raise that cap to 15 by 2014 and limit the number of cyber students to 2 percent of the state’s total student population. Currently, that limit would be around 30,000 students.

The State Journal reports opponents of the bill had raised a motion to reconsider in an effort to force a second vote. That motion was supported by many Democrats who had opposed the bill in the first vote.

“It’s a little bit hard to understand why you would put public policy in place you said you wanted to evaluate,” David Rutledge, D-Ypsilanti, told the Journal. “The whole point of reconsideration was to … offer an opportunity for some additional thinking.”

Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, told The Journal there was no need for further consideration. He argued the fact that the bill was being amended right up until passage shows that anyone with concerns had a chance to voice them, noting that under the legislation passed by the House, “the cyber public schools now have more rigorous quality standards … than the traditional public schools do.”

SOURCES: Detroit News, “Senate bill sent to gov would allow cyber schools in Michigan,” May 3, 2012

The Lansing State Journal, “Michigan cyber school growth measure moves forward," May 1, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Capitol Confidential, “House Votes To Raise Cyber School Cap," April 27, 2012