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Vote Expected on School Millage Diversion to Charters

Nov 02, 2017

A bill that would give money from school enhancement millages to for-profit charter schools is expected to get a vote in a state House committee tomorrow—contact your representatives today, and encourage parents and community members to get involved. 

Your calls and emails have started to make a difference. Changes to SB 574 are planned that would only give money to online cyber schools that show 80 percent of students live in the enhancement district’s boundaries. Another expected change would ensure the bill does not apply retroactively to existing millages. 

Overall, this controversial change to school funding is opposed by numerous school groups and many parents, who argue that 90 percent of Michigan school children attend traditional public schools, which are held to higher standards of financial transparency and performance.

About 83 percent of Michigan charter schools are for-profit entities with no elected representation or public oversight in how tax dollars are spent – which means no guarantee additional public money would benefit students instead of furthering corporate profits. 

Charter schools come and go—sometimes closing without notice.

While many privately managed operators of for-profit charter schools do not divulge executive pay levels, the CEO of nationwide cyber giant K-12, Inc., reportedly makes $16 million per year.

Meanwhile, overall public school funding in Michigan remains below pre-recession levels, and several recent studies and reports have found the state’s education spending to be inadequate. Enhancement millages are regional tax levies approved by voters within a region and administered by intermediate school districts. 

The House Education Reform Committee plans to vote on SB 574 tomorrow. 

Contact your representative today, and urge public school supporters in your community to take a moment and make their voices heard.