Green: Education reforms would empower parents, expand education options


LANSING – Legislation introduced Wednesday in the Michigan Senate would lift the arbitrary cap on charter schools and enable parents to pursue the education choices that work best for their children, said Sen. Mike Green.

The seven-bill proposal, which includes Senate Bills 618 – 624, is known as the Parent Empowerment Education Reform package.

“A quality education is critical to preparing students to successfully compete in a global, 21st century economy,” said Green, R-Mayville. “These reforms are focused on what is in the best interests of parents and students, empowering them to make the educational choices that best fit their needs.

“The legislation also expands opportunity for local districts and teachers to drive innovation in their schools and to take part in the expanded opportunities.”

In addition to removing the cap on university-authorized charter schools and special high school academies, the bills would:

  • End restrictions on where Schools of Excellence could locate;
  • Increase opportunities for cyber charter schools;
  • Empower a majority of parents or teachers at a school to petition their district to convert the school to a charter;
  • Expand dual-enrollment opportunities for high-achieving students and the ability of districts to provide services to part-time, non-public students;
  • Permit school districts to contract for instructional services when appropriate; and
  • Include all districts in Michigan in schools of choice, requiring districts to admit students who apply if space is available after local students are served.

“I believe these reforms will help to ensure that every student has access to a good education, regardless of where they live,” Green said. “We have to do better with limited resources and measure success on results, not on how much money we spend. Success will require the involvement of students, parents, teachers and local leadership. I believe these bills take important steps in this direction.”

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Education Committee for consideration.