Mackinac Center Praises Ingham Circuit Judge’s Dismissal of MEA Lawsuit to End State Funding of Bay Mills Charter Schools

Ruling recognizes that lawsuit was “dubious on the merits” and on “MEA’s standing”; decision is “a victory for parents and children”

For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher F. Bachelder, Director of Communications
Phone: (989) 878-1837

MIDLAND — Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk today dismissed a Michigan Education Association lawsuit against officials at the state departments of treasury and education for allegedly violating state law and the Michigan Constitution in approving and financing charter schools that have been authorized statewide by Bay Mills Community College of Brimley, Mich. The lawsuit was rejected on all four counts in a case that was followed closely by scholars at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Midland-based research and educational organization.

"This lawsuit was, as the judge recognized, dubious both on the merits and on the question of the MEA’s standing," said Mackinac Center Senior Legal Analyst Patrick J. Wright. "The judge’s decision means that even if the MEA appeals the case, the schools chartered by Bay Mills will remain safe from interference in coming months."

Ryan S. Olson, the Center’s director of education policy, commented: "While MEA attorneys were in court arguing that some 30 Bay Mills charter schools across the state should be defunded, more than 8,000 children were learning in those schools, which were chosen by their parents as the best and safest places for their kids to learn. This ruling is a victory for parents and children. We can only hope that the MEA will forgo an appeal and return to its stated mission of supporting ‘the development of successful, empowered students.’"