Bridges4Kids Logo

 
About Us Breaking News Find Help in Michigan Find Help in the USA Find Help in Canada Inspiration
IEP Goals Help4Parents Disability Info Homeschooling College/Financial Aid Summer Camp
IEP Topics Help4Teachers Homework Help Charter/Private Insurance Nutrition
Ask the Attorney Become an Advocate Children "At-Risk" Bullying Legal Research Lead Poisoning
 
Bridges4Kids is now on Facebook. Follow us today!
 

 

 Article of Interest - Michigan's Charter Schools

Charters: Legislature should close Bay Mills loophole; end school fight
Lansing State Journal, April 21, 2003
For more articles like this visit https://www.bridges4kids.org

 
The release of Michigan's list of "failing" schools drew little attention to one fact: There were charter schools on the list, too.

In fact, 18 of the 190 existing charter schools ended up on the failing schools list. Now, in charters' defense, that proportion is roughly similar to that of regular public schools.

But if charters confront the same performance challenges as regular schools, why should we be rushing to add more of them ... especially without proper oversight?

That's the crux of an ongoing fight between state Superintendent Thomas Watkins and Bay Mills Community College.

Bay Mills, which mainly serves American Indian students, is trying to utilize a loophole in existing Michigan law to sponsor as many charter schools as it likes. There's nothing to think Bay Mills is particularly equipped to become a charter school impresario, other than legal advantage.

So when Bay Mills didn't provide enough documentation on overseeing seven new charters, Watkins refused to issue them an administrative code it needs to draw down state aid for students.

Of course, no state aid means no school.

Bay Mills and allies in the charter movement accuse Watkins of exceeding his authority with his denial. That claim, though, would leave the superintendent as little more than a flunky, rubber-stamping whatever Bay Mills puts in front of him.

That won't do ... and a solution needs to come from the folks at the Capitol.

Republican lawmakers have pushed through the House a new charter-school bill, one that raises the cap on university-sponsored charters. Democrats, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, are rightfully opposed.

Pending more information on charters' effectiveness, the last thing Michigan should do is add dozens more.

But one goal of the bill in question is worthwhile - closing the Bay Mills loophole. House Bill 4148 would treat Bay Mills like the universities that sponsor charters. That's a start.

A better bill, though, would be one curtailing where Bay Mills could issue charters (along lines imposed on other community colleges) and limiting its charters to a number it can adequately oversee.

Legislators should move promptly on such reform, which would resolve the dispute between Watkins and Bay Mills ... and produce a better charter school law, to boot.
 

Thank you for visiting https://www.bridges4kids.org/.

 

bridges4kids does not necessarily agree with the content or subject matter of all articles nor do we endorse any specific argument.  Direct any comments on articles to deb@bridges4kids.org.

 

2002-2018 Bridges4Kids

 

NOTE: (ALL RESOURCES PRE-IDEA 2004 ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL/HISTORICAL RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY)