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UPDATE: State puts charter school authorizes on notice

 
Posted August 11th, 2014 @ 12:35pm by WOOD Radio afternoon news team

Michigan State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said Monday more than a quarter of the charter school authorizes were given at-risk notices.

A string of reports published by The Detroit Free Press suggests Michigan taxpayers spent close to $1 billion per year in charter schools with few state laws enacted to ensure they're operating transparently.

"We want all public schools to provide a quality education for Michigan’s kids," Flanagan said in a statement. "I am using the authority provided me in state law to push for greater quality, transparency, and accountability for those who aren’t measuring up as charter authorizers."

Charter school authorizers outlined by Flanagan were told they're at risk of suspension for oversight deficiencies. In July, he sent out a series of basic guidelines on transparency, academic and financial practices for authorizers, not individual schools.

Eleven of the 40 charter school authorizers were given notices by the state, ranging from Detroit Public Schools to Grand Valley State and Ferris State Universities.

Dan Quisenberry, president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, says Flanagan's comments do little to address the issue.

"It is a roadblock to having an honest and transparent conversation about the system’s strengths and weaknesses," he said in a statement.

Flanagan explained a suspension doesn't mean the authorizers are out of business, but instead are restricted from opening new charters until deficiencies are addressed.

"If an authorizer were to be suspended, it would not be a death sentence, and we’re not closing down their existing charter schools,” Flanagan said.

 

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