Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he would put tougher regulations on charter schools if he’s elected governor. The Battle Creek Democrat says Gov. Rick Snyder has given bad charter operators a “free pass.”
“We need to write into law the oversight that was left out when Rick Snyder lifted the cap on the number of charter schools,” said Schauer. “It’s the Wild West right now, and these schools see kids with dollar signs on their foreheads.”
His comments come on the heels of a Detroit Free Press investigation on Michigan charter schools. It suggests a lack of transparency, conflicts of interest, and mixed academic results.
Schauer says institutions should lose their ability to charter new schools if more than 10% of their existing schools are failing academically. He wants to give charter school board members the same authority over school policy as elected school board members. And Schauer wants to subject for-profit management companies to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Schauer stopped short of calling for a hard limit on the number of charter schools in Michigan or banning for-profit operators – although he said that idea merits a “conversation.”
Gov. Snyder says he is open to stricter transparency requirements for all schools – but not necessarily the companies that run charters.