Skip to comments.The Republicans Who Blocked Charter School Choice
Posted on 09/23/2011 12:13:04 PM PDT by MichCapCon
Before the creation of charter public schools in 1994, mere geography determined the education of Michigans public school pupils. Much like buying boots in the old Soviet Empire, parental choice was limited to accepting what the bureaucrats in the local education monopoly offered, or fleeing with the family across the border to another district (if you could afford it). Even today, a majority of charters have a wait list, and some must conduct lotteries to determine which parents get a choice over who teaches their kids. For last school year, one such lottery was used because a district had just 26 openings for 556 applicants.
Many parents who could not place their students in charter schools this year can thank three former Michigan lawmakers for their disappointment: State Reps. Pan Godchaux, R-Birmingham; Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks; and Mike Pumford, R-Newaygo. In 1999 and again in 2002, there were two attempts to increase the number of charters allowed under law. These votes took place in two different legislative sessions and with two slightly different crews of lawmakers, but in both instances these three politicians provided crucial votes against lifting the most substantial cap on charter growth.
It remains in place to this day.
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