MAPSA Statement on Proposed Charter School Legislation by House and Senate Democrats

LANSING, Michigan – A group of House and Senate Democrats held a press conference today in which they introduced a series of bills related to charter schools in Michigan. Below is a statement on that proposed legislation from Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association.

Also, the press advisory sent out by the Democrats for today’s event stated that for-profit companies manage 85 percent of charter schools in Michigan. This information is incorrect, and we have no idea how they arrived at this number. By the latest accounting, the correct number is closer to 48 percent of Michigan charter schools that are managed by a for-profit, full-service management company.

Here’s the statement from Dan Quisenberry:

“Michigan’s charter schools have always supported and practiced complete transparency and accountability, and indeed, charter schools in our state are the most accountable of all public schools. Every dime a charter school spends is publicly reported. Charter schools are accountable to taxpayers, to their boards, to their authorizers, and most importantly, to parents.

“Unfortunately, these bills have absolutely nothing to do with improving education in our state. This is nothing but predictable political pandering at the time of year when campaign donations are doled out. It’s unfortunate that these people are so willing to use our children as political pawns.

“We’re glad to hear these politicians bring up the idea of accountability, and we’d urge them to hold all public schools to the same level of academic standards that charter schools have always demonstrated. And instead of playing political football with our students, we’d urge them to join us in calling for an A-F accountability system for all schools. That’s something that actually WOULD help improve education in our state.”