Michigan Chapter of PublicSchoolOptions.org

Coalition Chairs Sandy Smith, Brian & Heidi Kevelin


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In Our State

In the most recent legislative session, legislators considered funding cuts for online public school students. If passed, online learning students would find themselves at an unfair disadvantage, receiving 20% less funding than traditional public school students. Although legislation is still pending, Michigan parents are certain that their support for full and fair funding via meetings with, and letters and phone calls to policymakers will prove successful.


Getting the Word Out

National Board Director & MI parent Sandy Smith authored op-eds in the Detroit Free Press and the Lansing State Journal early this September, in which she praises Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan lawmakers for “getting so much right in the last year.” She writes “by putting kids first, expanding school choice for parents and embracing new technologies and new teaching mehods, this back-to-school season is more special than ever.” 

For “March is Reading Month,” the Michigan Chapter invited Governor Rick Snyder to read to about 100 kindergarten through third grade students who watched and listened via their virtual charter school’s online platform. The event allowed the Governor to experience the use of technology in the classroom and interact with online learning students. A reporter with Detroit News quoted Governor Snyder as saying “It’s a great opportunity to actually interact with the kids and to see that you can have real interaction going back and forth leveraging technology. Our goal is student growth, and we want to create whatever venue works best for them. If you think about it longer-term, technology is just going to become more important. Kids today take to technology a lot better than we took to it.”


Coalition Events

Keeping parents engaged, our Chapter hosted three meet-and-greet events, including a trip to the Detroit Zoo, for 75 parents. The Coalition also hosted two cider mill trips in the fall, which included hayrides, pumpkins, cider, and doughnuts. Families from both the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy and Connections Academy attended. One cider mill event also included the awarding of a Golden Apple Award to State Representative Deb Shaughnessy for her support of options, including virtual public schools. Our Chapter also coordinated with Senator Phil Pavlov to record a supportive podcast on charter schools and cyber learning.

In the News...

Military Families Band Together Education Options
March 17, 2014

Getting Smart, Tillie Elvrum Published March 17, 2014 Of all the challenges military parents face, sending your children off for their first day at a new school is among the most heart-wrenching.  Memorizing a new locker combination, braving a sea of unfamiliar faces in the cafeteria, warming up to new teachers – the transition is […]

Can virtual schools perform as well as a traditional classroom?
March 7, 2014

89.3 KPCC Published March 7, 2014 [AUDIO] For some kids, traditional school isn’t necessarily the best option. They may have medical needs that make getting to school difficult, or perhaps they’re athletes who travel frequently to train and compete. In these cases, a virtual education might serve them better. This week, parents and teachers of students who […]

Education, Nonprofit, Government & Tech Worlds Collide this Month in Virtual Agreement
February 27, 2014

Getting Smart, Beth Purcell Published February 27, 2014 Technology is not the answer. At least not “the entire answer,” according to President Obama’s February 4 speech on ConnectED, the federal program designed to connect 99 percent of America’s schools to the Internet.  Announced just prior to Digital Learning Day, the comment could seem oddly placed.  As PBSLearningMedia, the National […]

PublicSchoolOptions Blog

Pick Your Favorite, Cast Your Vote!
April 24, 2014

4.24.14 Let the voting begin!  Today begins the voting phase of our 2014 American Pioneer of Teaching Award competition where you can help pick the winner.  And while voting may be as simple as the click of a mouse, selecting a teacher from among our outstanding 10 finalists may prove to be quite a challenge. […]

Teachers’ “10 Tips” Offer Success Strategies for Online Learning
April 22, 2014

4.22.14 What’s the secret to online learning success? On Getting Smart, two teachers offer insightful tips for virtual public school students.  They also demonstrate what our American Pioneer of Teaching Award, currently underway, celebrates: insightful, creative attention to the needs of students in nontraditional public schools.   The blog’s authors, both full-time virtual public education […]

Capitol Days Rally on in Ohio, Louisiana
April 18, 2014

4.18.14 April showers didn’t deter families in Ohio and Louisiana this month as coalition members, teachers and students gathered for fellowship and advocacy at their annual Capitol Days.   At the height of state legislative sessions, these families and teachers delivered their message of public school options with gusto. In Louisiana, state chair Christin Kaiser and […]