Michigan Chapter of PublicSchoolOptions.org
Coalition Chair: David Hayataka
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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.”
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...
District Court Rules Against Unions, Allows Funding to Continue for Charter Schools BATON ROUGE, La., May 19, 2015 – The message from Judge Fields this morning was clear: Charter schools are public schools. His ruling in Louisiana District Court said that the current funding mechanism for Type 2 charter schools could continue. These schools currently serve over 18,000 students […]
Bill Passed out of Committee, Awaiting Action on Senate Floor AUSTIN, Texas, May 7, 2015 – PublicSchoolOptions.org joined Texas parents calling on the Texas State Senate to debate and pass SB 894 without delay. The bill passed out of the Senate Education Committee last week with strong support, and will end arbitrary and outdated barriers to accessing public school […]
WLTX-TV, Columbia, S.C. April 23, 2015
School Choice Fans
By Amy Scott During the planning stages of South Carolina PSO’s Capitol Day, I was wracking my brain trying to think of a creative way to have parents and students engage with legislators. Ah-ha! Fans. That’s it! After all, it’ll be a warm spring day in Columbia — and a fan will serve multiple purposes. After all, we’re […]
by Steven Isaacs As I think about my own educational journey through the brick-and-mortar public school system, I am so glad that my son Skylar has more opportunities than I did. Growing up, I would have been a more focused and motivated student if I had been able to work at my own pace. Thankfully, […]
It is safe to say that all teachers strive to do “what is best for students.” As educators, we completely agree. With that being said, for some students in our state, the traditional brick and mortar school is not what is best. Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA), an online public school, has been a great fit […]