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

A Teacher’s Voice: 2013 American Pioneer of Teaching Finalist on What the Award Means to Him Facebook Voting begins April 24th!
April 16, 2014

4.16.14 On your mark, get set, go!  In education, it seems, the often-used metaphor is that of a race.  No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, getting kids across the finish line, and kids working at their own pace, are just some of the examples which come to mind.  Fortunately for me, this comparison […]

NJ High Court Hands Down A Win for Students in the State
April 10, 2014

Yesterday, the New Jersey Superior Court handed down a decision to grant charter requests, a ruling that allows for online public charter schools in the state. In its ruling, the court disagreed with the New Jersey Education Association’s (NJEA) initial claim that the state’s Charter School Act does not give the Commissioners authority to approve […]

American Pioneer of Teaching Award: Last Call for Nominations!
April 10, 2014

4.10.14 Want to recognize an outstanding alternative public school teacher?  Today marks your last chance to submit a nomination for our annual American Pioneer of Teaching Award competition (the nomination window closes at 5:00PM ET today – read here for competition guidelines). The competition has sparked an outpouring of online enthusiasm for nontraditional public school […]