Happy Birthday, Michigan Charter Schools!!

Engler Signs Charter Bill (2)Twenty years ago, today, Governor John Engler signed one of the most sweeping and comprehensive charter school laws in the country.

Today, nearly 140,000 students in Michigan attend a charter public school, which is almost 9.0% of all K-12 students in the state. In Detroit, over 50% of students attend a charter public school, ranking 2nd behind New Orleans for charter enrollment.

Yet despite widespread public support for choice and charter public schools, education reformers continue to battle the “defenders of the status quo” who work so diligently to maintain the adult-focused traditional school establishment at the expense of children.

Today’s example is the “no confidence” vote by faculty at Jackson Community College for President Dan Phelan. President Phelan’s biggest sin? He supported JCC’s authorization of a charter public school with dual enrollment in high school and JCC, something that would be an innovative experience for the community.  Typical.