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2009 Senate Bill 925: Authorize charter school expansion
  1. Introduced by Sen. Samuel B. Thomas, III (D) on October 20, 2009, to authorize the establishment of “schools of excellence,” which would be charter schools authorized by either a local school district, Intermediate School District, a local community college or a state university. Existing charter operators in Michigan or other states that for three years have been given the state's highest designation would not be subject to existing state caps; up to 25 new or other schools (without a three year top score) could be authorized. See also Senate Bill 926, which would authorize "transition" payments to conventional school districts.
    • Referred to the Senate Education Committee on October 20, 2009.
      • Reported in the Senate on December 2, 2009, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-3) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on December 2, 2009, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that would also authorize three statewide "cyberschools" to provide full-time instruction to pupils through online learning or other technology, be open to all pupils in the State, and offer all grades K to 12. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on December 2, 2009.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on December 2, 2009, to strip out a "cyber-school" provision waiving state statutes and regulations that otherwise would require students' physical presence in the classroom (and so essentially prohibit this type of remote-learning school). The amendment failed 14 to 22 in the Senate on December 2, 2009.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  2. Passed 23 to 13 in the Senate on December 2, 2009, to authorize the establishment of “schools of excellence,” which would be charter schools authorized by either a local school district, Intermediate School District, a local community college or a state university. Existing charter operators in Michigan or other states that for three years have been given the state's highest designation would not be subject to existing state caps; up to 25 new or other schools (without a three year top score) could be authorized, of which three would be statewide "cyber-schools".
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on December 2, 2009.
    • Referred to the House Education Committee on December 2, 2009.
      • Reported in the House on December 10, 2009, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-3) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Referred to the House Education Committee on January 21, 2010.

Comments

Re: 2009 Senate Bill 925 (Authorize charter school expansion )  by Admin003 on December 3, 2009 

 


Senator Whitmer’s statement is as follows:


As I was reviewing Senate Bill No. 925, there was a glaring addition in this bill that is not related to the Race to the Top application and necessary. What it does is give the state superintendent the authority to waive law. Right now, the state superintendent has the ability to waive rules and work with these cyber schools that we are talking about that are new to this charter school bill. To give the state superintendent the authority to simply waive the laws of Michigan—laws that we’ve created to ensure that our kids are getting a proper education so that they can be competitive in the workplace—doesn’t make any sense to me.


It seems like an enormous amount of authority that we have placed into one person. It is completely out of character with all of the rest of this package, and we should strike it.



Re: 2009 Senate Bill 925 (Authorize charter school expansion )  by Admin003 on December 3, 2009 

 


Senator Kuipers, under his constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the adoption of the amendment offered by Senator Whitmer to Senate Bill No. 925 and moved that the statement he made during the discussion of the amendment be printed as his reasons for voting “no.”


The motion prevailed.


Senator Kuipers’ statement is as follows:


I have to disagree with the comments of the previous speaker. If this amendment is adopted, it essentially means that all of our cyber schools will have to operate within the four walls of the school building, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a cyber school. I would ask the members of this body to reject this amendment.



Re: 2009 Senate Bill 925 (Authorize charter school expansion )  by rayuhl on December 3, 2009 

 My children are in a charter school because the superintentant of the public school they were attending made it clear to me that there was nothing she could do about bad teachers due to their union and because teachers were being misplaced due to senority and tenure etc... However, the other side of the coin, I am finding, is that many teachers in my charter school (which tauts itself as cutting edge, progressive etc...) are afraid to be "creative" and progressive due to the fact that they can be fired easily. I've heard statements like: "I just do what they tell me to do" and "I've gotten tired of trying to make things better" and "I don't want to lose my job".



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