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...

Parents Call for Immediate Meeting with Gov. Haslam, Commissioner Huffman and Legislative Leaders to Protect the Rights of 626 Tennessee Virtual Academy Families
July 25, 2014

Meeting Request Follows Huffman’s Ultimatum to Union County Public Schools to Un-Enroll 626 First Year Students from its Public Online School  Nashville, Tenn., July 25, 2014 – Parent leaders from the PublicSchoolOptions.org-Tennessee Chapter today called for an immediate meeting on Monday with Governor Bill Haslam, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, and Education Committee chairs, Sen. Dolores Gresham […]

Tennessee Parents and Teachers Unite to Support Over 600 New Students Legally Enrolled in Tennessee Virtual Academy
July 24, 2014

Nashville, Tenn., July 24, 2014 – Hundreds of Tennessee parents and teachers have shared their personal testimonials in a new online petition to quickly sound the alarm over an ultimatum by Commissioner Kevin Huffmann to un-enroll over 600 students from the Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA), the state’s K-8 online public school, or potentially face closure. […]

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 […]

PublicSchoolOptions Blog

Colorado Coalition of Cyberschool Families Hosts 4th Annual Park Day
July 21, 2014

The 4th Annual Colorado Cyberschools Park Day had its largest ever turnout for a day of fun with families and staff who are part of the coalition of online schools. Read more and see photos from the park day.

Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families Hosts Summer Event
July 18, 2014

The Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families and Idaho Virtual Academy joined together to co-host a Summer Social Event on June 30 at the Silverwood Amusement Park near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The northern part of Idaho has many Idaho Virtual Academy families and public charter school families from Kootenai Bridge, Coeur d’Alene Academy and Forest Bird […]

PublicSchoolOptions.org Urges NJ Education Commissioner Hespe to Approve a Statewide Virtual School
May 29, 2014

5.29.2014 PublicSchoolOptions.org President Beth Purcell has issued a letter to New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner David Hespe urging him to approve a statewide virtual school to serve New Jersey students.  In the letter, copied below, Beth cites the April 9 New Jersey Superior Court ruling that reaffirms the authority of the NJDE to expand school options […]