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...
My Morning at the New York Stock Exchange
From the South Hill Enterprise (Va.), February 11, 2015: “Cherie Nielsen of Valentines helped ring the bell to open trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Jan. 26, during National School Choice Week. The national treasurer and Virginia chairperson for publicschooloptions.org , an alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access […]
State Legislators Promise to Do “All They Can to Keep TNVA Open” Nashville, Tenn., February 10, 2015 – Under threat of closure, more than four hundred parents, students and educators descended on the state Capitol to express their support for protecting the right of parents to choose the school that works best for their children, […]
TNVA Singled Out for Closure Compared to 100 Tennessee Public Schools with Similar Scores Nashville, Tenn., February 9, 2015 — Hundreds of parents, students, teachers and school choice supporters are set to rally on Tuesday, February 10 at the Capitol Building in Nashville in support of Tennessee Virtual Academy – a full time online public […]
1, 2, 3, repeat after me: #ITrustParents
by Beth Purcell Whoa! How great is this? Not only are Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray working together on ESEA reauthorization, but Senator Tim Scott has penned the CHOICE Act AND there is a bipartisan bill to expand access to charter schools. A huge thank you from all of us at PublicSchoolOptions.org for […]
Family Stories from Tennessee, Part 5
A TNVA family story My daughter was in traditional schools for some of kindergarten. She had limited speech and didn’t know how to write or spell. Her school didn’t try to challenge her; the most she was learning was colors each week. She feared her school and we later found out that her teacher was physically […]
Nervous Nellies in North Carolina
by Bethany Waylett It might have been just an average Thursday for everyone else, but families like mine in North Carolina were on the edge of our seats at the state School Board of Education meeting. School choice advocates have been working for four years to bring public school options to our state — and […]