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Tue December 27, 2011
GOP leaders ready to move cyber school expansion
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
There may soon be more online K-12 schools allowed to operate in Michigan. Republican leaders in the state Legislature say they want to approve a measure that would allow more so-called cyber schools when lawmakers return to the Capitol in January.
State Representative Tom McMillin chairs the House Education Committee. He says many lawmakers are impressed with the ability of cyber schools to help kids who struggle in or drop out of traditional public schools.
"Has blown us away, I mean it's extremely impressive," he says. "I think it's going to be, once people see what it's producing, what the results are, they get all excited about it."
The cyber-school legislation stalled because it appears lawmakers still have too many questions about the effectiveness of online schools. Lobbyists for traditional public schools say it would be a mistake to open the state to lots of cyber schools before there's more research on their effectiveness. And they say the traditional public school model is still the best way to educate kids.