HomeSign In Contact Us
Board Members
Academies
Authorizers
ESPs
Online Surveys
Training
News
MACSB Messages
Legislation
Directors
Education
Sponsors
Outside Links
Governance
Must question charter school legislation
F\Grand Haven Tribune (Opinion)
April 21, 2014
Those are two good questions to ask when assessing bills being introduced in our national and state capitals.

For instance, Michigan Senate Bill 682 reeks of politics.

The bill would cripple the charter school movement in Michigan by imposing property taxes on charter schools, prohibiting for-profit firms from managing charter schools, and prohibiting charter school authorizing bodies from creating any new schools unless students in the ones they have already chartered outperform conventional schools in the same school district by at least 20 percent.

If the operators of the two charter schools in the Tri-Cities wanted to open other schools, they would have to outperform Grand Haven and Spring Lake public schools by 20 percent. In districts with poor public schools, that may be feasible — but in an area like ours, with outstanding public schools, that becomes much more difficult.

Even in communities with excellent public schools, one size does not fit all.

The neighborhood school is not necessarily a good environment for every child. It may be too big or too small, too academically ambitious or not ambitious enough, or the peer group might be problematic.

There are plenty of reasons that parents may seek an alternative, and why shouldn't some options exist?

That said, there are great charter schools and bad charter schools, and there could probably be more government oversight. We also need to keep an eye on the “for-profit” charter schools to make sure the operators aren’t running off with the money and not putting enough back into the classrooms.

However, charter schools usually determine their own destiny — the good ones survive and the bad ones close due to lack of students.

So, why would state Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, sponsor of Senate Bill 682, throw a wrench into charter school operations?

Look at the politics and the money. Charter schools, just like public schools, receive dollars from the state for each student. Some argue charter schools are taking much-needed dollars away from public schools.

In addition, the state’s teachers’ union, the Michigan Education Association, really dislikes charters. Charter school teachers often are not MEA members and don’t pay union dues.

At election time, the MEA doles out thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates. Is this Sen. Hopgood’s way of saying thanks to the MEA and asking the union to remember him again next election?

Senate Bill 682 has been sent to committee. Hopefully, it stays there.

More Info
Other News
01-03-2015
As Conventional Public Schools Fail Transparency Law, Charters are Targeted Pontiac Public Schools posts teachers' contract that expired in 2011
09-05-2014
Central Michigan University chartered schools
rank high in MEAP scores
05-21-2014
Substitute teacher accused of assaulting first graders banned from all NHA charter schools
04-26-2014
Muskegon Heights ends contract with charter school company
04-24-2014
MI gubernatorial candidate wants to dismantle charter schools
04-22-2014
Charter school CEO says Muskegon Heights schools owes company $2 million
04-21-2014
Must question charter school legislation
04-20-2014
Our View: Michigan can learn from other states how to end its 'education recession'
12-23-2013
Charter Schools Serve More Low-Income Students Than Conventional Districts
12-23-2013
Arts education: A look at how Michigan's schools teach music, drama, painting and more
12-06-2013
Contrary to Report, Charter Schools Get Less Money Per Pupil Than Conventional Schools
11-20-2013
Charter school students to give testimony at candlelight vigil to support homeless youth
11-20-2013
Parent: 'Even after my kids graduate I'll still come back and help this school'
11-20-2013
Nexus Academy of Royal Oak Continues to Welcome Students to Innovative School
11-19-2013
Michigan schools' financial crisis growing
10-30-2013
Shannon to step down
10-27-2013
Disinvestment, structural flaws harm Michigan schools
10-23-2013
Should Michigan parents consider online charter schools?
10-22-2013
Jackson Preparatory and Early College charter school receives $500,000 start-up grant
10-16-2013
Do Charter Schools Hurt Public School Finances?
10-15-2013
Detroit's Aisha Shule charter school to close Oct. 31
10-14-2013
Charter school grows
10-12-2013
Michigan bill seeks to combat cyberbullying in school
10-11-2013
West Michigan educators react to Mackinac Center study on 'flawed' school ranking system
10-03-2013
3 Metro Detroit teachers finalists for Charter School Teacher of the Year
10-02-2013
Muskegon's newest charter school combines Montessori methods with environmental research
10-01-2013
Count Day nears for Michigan schools, with vital funds at stake
10-01-2013
Poll Finds School Chiefs Lukewarm on School Boards
09-25-2013
Michigan Laborers to protest Bay City Academy's handling of asbestos removal
09-25-2013
Muskegon Heights charter schools monitor 'very impressed' by high school
09-24-2013
Charter Enrollment Increases by
24 Percent in Washtenaw County
09-20-2013
See which charter schools are attracting Ann Arbor students
09-19-2013
Oakside Scholars Charter Academy Dedicated to the Community
09-19-2013
Amid growth of Michigan charter schools, teachers often less experienced
09-17-2013
Pressure on Mosaica to improve Muskegon Heights schools growing, documents show
09-13-2013
See the 56 Michigan school districts with budget deficits
09-12-2013
Feedback: Schauer needs to be schooled on cyber charters
09-03-2013
Michigan ranks 11th in education reform group's list of 'parent power' states
09-03-2013
School Year Begins With 298 Public Charter Schools in Michigan, Including 34 New Schools
09-03-2013
Detroit area districts plug into digital era with iPads, laptops