Local public school enrollment is steadily shifting to charter schools

By Sheryl Levitt
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter

According to the Lansing School District’s enrollment report, 1,917 students from Lansing are attending local charter schools. It’s a number that seems to keep growing, at the expense of Lansing’s public school enrollment. Enrollment in the Lansing School District is continually declining. Over the last five years, enrollment numbers have decreased from 13,399 to 11,695 students. This means the district has experienced a total loss of 1,704 students.

Proposal would toughen regulations for new charter schools

Capital New Service
LANSING – Making public school academies — charters — more accountable is on the minds of some legislators. A bill by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, would prohibit new academies from having management agreements with for-profit organizations. It also would disallow authorizing bodies, such as universities, from creating new academies unless students at all of their existing academies perform at least 20 percent better than students in the nearest traditional school district. Weak laws have allowed a lot of charter schools to pop up and take students away from traditional schools, causing financial stress to public schools that lose state aid, Hopgood said. The charters create an uneven playing field, he said.

Charter school students learning more, study finds

Capital News Service
LANSING – An average Michigan charter school student will learn more in a year than his or her public school peer, according to a new report by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes. The study found that students from Michigan charter schools learn an average of two month’s more of math and reading per academic year. Twenty-seven percent of the state’s charter school students are from Detroit, and Detroit charter school students gained up to three months’ worth of additional education, it said. Charter schools are publicly funded but can be privately run. They were established in part so that individual schools could have more independence over curriculum and teaching staff.

Lawmakers at odds over expanding for-profit charter schools

Capital News Service
LANSING—While some lawmakers discuss a bill to allow more charter schools in Michigan, others seek to ban those operated as for-profit enterprises. A constitutional amendment to ban for-profit charter schools has been proposed by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, and Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor. For-profit charter schools shift educational efforts to making money off of children, Hopgood said. “The result will be schools where children are just a means to profitable acts.”
The amendment would allow non-profit charter schools to continue, Warren said. “It is not a ban on charter schools; it is not even a cap or minimization,” Warren said.  “If those companies are doing such a great job and they want to come in and they want to educate our kids, they can reformat their business model and become non-profit.”
A bill that would lift the cap on charter schools passed the House Education Committee recently and will soon be heard by the whole House.