|Opening a Michigan charter school will still be 'a long and arduous' process, officials say|
By: Leanne Smith
|March 02, 2012|
JACKSON — Becoming a charter school is not a quick or easy process, according to officials with the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, the state charter school association.
“Typically one in 50 applicants get approval,” said Buddy Morehouse, MAPSA’s director of communications. “It’s not like opening a restaurant franchise.”
It typically takes someone, like the two groups hoping to open new charter schools in Jackson next year, 18 months to two years to work toward charter approval, Moorehouse said.
People typically start a charter school if they believe children’s academic needs are not being met in the community, or they want to create a niche school for students who need a flexible schedule or are focused on one specific career, such as art or technology, he said.
They must first draft a plan for the school and then present it to an authorizer, such as a public university, for approval.
Facilities are one of the biggest hurdles charter school planners have to overcome because they have to pay to buy or lease buildings out of their budget, Moorehouse said. By law, they can’t go to voters with a bond issue like traditional public schools can.
Those wanting to start a charter school can, however, apply for start-up grants funded by federal money and administered by the Michigan Department of Education. Thirty $110,000 grants are available each year.
“Because there are only 30 schools that can receive start-up planning grants, we don`t expect too many more schools than that to open next year,” Moorehouse said. “But we won`t know the exact number until this summer.”
Last year, 19 charter schools opened in Michigan. Five of them were in Detroit.
Before it was limited to numbers, but now it’s based on quality.
Critics of the state legislation that lifted the cap on the number of charter schools that can be authorized by public universities, have said they feared it would allow the opening of charter schools to become simple and random.
That is not the case, said Dan Quisenberry, MAPSA president.
“Opening a charter school will continue to be a very long, arduous process, as it should be,” he said. “The focus will be entirely on capacity for quality and making sure the school fills a specific need and that it has all the tools to succeed.”
A Lansing charter school is in danger of closing, but charter advocates say it's not an indictment of the charter model
'Blended learning' charter high school impresses one Grand Rapids lawmaker, another raises concerns
Grand Valley State University expands eastward with new Detroit education, business center
Detroit business leaders support 'skunk works'-like groups in Michigan government
For-Profit Experiment Plays Out in Two Mich. Districts
Politics Alive and Well in Public Schools
MI school district to destroy building rather than sell to charter group
School Marketing is A-OK
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says lower-cost schools team 'not an official project'
'Skunk works' scuttled? Michigan schools chief Mike Flanagan to lead technology discussion
Don't Trust Ed-Trust on Charter Schools Group seeks ed reform, but misses mark on charters
Some charter schools focus on quality. Others focus on marketing. Guess which ones are winning.
Senator Warren Announces Reintroduction of Ban on For-Profit Schools
Covenant House Michigan buying Campau Park Elementary for $400,000
New strategies needed to improve Michigan charter schools, group says WITH VIDEO
Michigan's public education system getting schooled by other states
Education reform group forges voucher-like plan for Michigan
Report outlines six steps needed to bring Michigan schools in line with rest of the country
Eastern Michigan University issues charters for three schools
Over 100 Michigan charter schools to be represented at job fair at Novi showplace
Some Michigan schools could get $134 per kid boost under budget plan
Ann Arbor school board to vote Wednesday on 5-hour time limits
Guest column: Charter schools showing innovation needed to 'dig state out of educational hole'
Northern Michigan Arts: Northwest Academy Band Heads To DC
Michigan Charter School Conference
Albion Public Schools officials talk charter schools as way to fix $1 million budget deficit in 2013-14
Michigan may drop foreign language rule for schools
Marvin Sapp’s performance arts charter school slated to grow this fall; adding grades pre-K to 5th
Michigan House OKs failing school oversight bill
New charter schools find niches
Lansing School District comes through for Shabazz: 'This is family'
New Charter School in Ferndale Hosts Meeting Tonight
Marvin Sapp's performance arts charter school slated to grow this fall; adding grades pre-K to 5th
Former charter school director gets probation for lying about student enrollment
Michigan school districts feel pinch as deficits grow
More on Authorizer Accountability in Michigan
Group plans charter school serving elite athletes
GILBERT: Charter school movement firing back at critics
Character Education Seen as Student-Achievement Tool
Study: For-profit charter schools perform at or above non-profit peers
Straight cash: Some Michigan school admins see big bucks