State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan is warning Michigan’s charter school authorizers that if their charter's don't measure up, he'll revoke their ability to authorize new charters.

Flanagan says he has asked the Department of Education staff to develop new financial, transparency and academic principles and if authorizers fail to comply with the new requirements, he'll use the power granted to him in law to revoke the ability of public universities, school districts and others to authorize charter schools.

The announcement comes in the wake of a series of articles from The Detroit Free Press that revealed charters spend nearly $1 billion a year, often with little accountability or transparency.

Flanagan says the series of news articles prompted him to think differently about whether to suspend an authorizer’s ability to open new charter schools. And he says (quote) "It’s my authority in state law and I will be using it."

Charter school backers have criticized the Free Press articles charging they are inaccurate and biased.