Michigan House Committee Votes To Lift Cap on Charter, Cyber Schools
Wyandotte school Superintendent Carla Harting went to Lansing recently to oppose the measure.
The state House Education Committee voted Wednesday to allow more charter and cyber schools to open in Michigan.
Senate Bill 618, which lifts the state's cap on the number of charter and cyber schools allowed in Michigan, now goes to the full House. The Senate narrowly passed the measure in early October.
Wyandotte school Superintendent Carla Harting went to Lansing recently to oppose the bill, even though she said she suspects it will pass and be signed into law.
"We have concerns about this particularly with the opening up of the online aspect for kids to take classes online from outside Michigan," she said. "They are taking school dollars away from public schools."
There are no charter or cyber schools in Wyandotte; however, there are some charter schools Downriver.
Summit Academy operates in Flat Rock and Romulus, along with Taylor's Trillium Academy.
Harting said she's seen firsthand how charter schools have negatively impacted Wyandotte.
"I’ve had some instances where people are not happy with charters and they come back to public schools after count day," she said. "By then, it's too late (to get the per-pupil funding for that student.) ... We will never turn anyone away. We will always take students in. But they are taking money from public schools."
The Michigan Education Association has openly opposed the bill, saying it "would allow for unlimited charter schools, regardless of the quality of those schools and the resources they draw away from neighborhood schools."
There are about 250 charter schools in Michigan.