The Michigan House Education Committee was scheduled to meet twice this week to consider Senate Bill 618, which would lift the state’s cap on the number of charter schools.
SB 618 is tie-barred to several other bills in a so-called “parent empowerment package.” This means that all of the bills must pass for any to become law.
If they do pass, the bills would greatly expand the number of charter schools, now at 255, and cyber schools, now at two; exempt public school academies from the demands of collective bargaining; and allow for public schools to be converted to charters, among other things.
SB 618 essentially would declare open season on the creation of public school academies. Charters can be granted by educational authorities, including school districts, intermediate school districts, community colleges and universities.
As the analysis for SB 618 says, “Currently, the combined total number of contracts for public school academies issued by all state public universities may not exceed 150, and the total number of contracts issued by any one university may not exceed 50 percent of the maximum combined total number. (SB 618) would delete this provision.”