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Tue December 20, 2011
Governor Snyder signs charter school cap elimination
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law a measure that lifts the limit on how many university-sponsored charter schools are allowed to operate in the state. Opponents of the law say the traditional public school model is a proven success, while the record for charters is spotty.
But Governor Snyder says more charter schools can be a valuable part of Michigan's K-12 system.
"If it's done right, we should be raising the bar for all schools," he says. "Again, I want to see better performance out of every school, whether it's charter or public, all variations. And we need to do a better job. Too much of our school systems have historically gotten carried away with the topic or where the dollars are going and money, and I believe we didn't focus enough on the kids' education."
The cap on charter schools will be lifted over a few years. An unlimited number of university-sponsored charter schools will be allowed in the state by the year 2015.
Meanwhile, Lansing School Board vice-president Charles Ford says he supports the idea of schooling options. But he says officials need to keep a close eye on performance.
"The thing that I want to make sure that happens is that charter schools are going to be held to the same standards as public schools as far as testing and scores and those types of things," he says.
Ford expects charter schools to lure some students away from Lansing public schools, but that rising standards in the district will mean many will return before high school graduation.