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Senate Education committee to continue school hearings

By Rick Pluta, MPRN News

LANSING, MI – The state Senate Education Committee will continue hearings Tuesday on a Republican package of proposed changes to the rules regarding school choice and charter academies. Senate Republicans want to eliminate the state's cap on university-sponsored charter schools. They also want to open more cyber-charter academies, and allow parents or teachers to petition to have their traditional public school converted to a charter.

Peter Spadafore is with the Michigan Association of School Boards, which opposes the legislation in its current form.

"Just opening up the charter cap to unlimited chartering is very dangerous," says Spadafore. "We don't how many are going to open, what kind of management companies are going to come in and run those. We're hoping to bring in the best, but without any kind of proficiency standards and track records for success, we might be in a situation where we have 100 new charter schools and none of them are performing very well."

The Senate GOP package goes further than the education agenda outlined in April by Governor Rick Snyder. The governor wants to open every school with an empty seat to out of district students and make it easier to open charter schools in struggling districts

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