Parent Empowerment Education Reform package introduced in Senate

LANSING–As students across Michigan begin another school year, state Sen. Phil Pavlov and Senate colleagues today introduced the Parent Empowerment Education Reform package, a comprehensive set of proposals that will lift the arbitrary cap on charter schools and enable parents anywhere in Michigan to pursue the education choices that work best for their children.

Two-thirds of the state’s charter schools, mostly in urban districts like Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit, have waiting lists as parents demand more educational choices and better results.

“Every parent in the state wants the very best for their children,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township.  “Unfortunately, when it comes to educating our kids, adult issues too often get in the way.  The Parent Empowerment Education Reform package is about freeing parents to pursue the opportunities that work best for their children and giving schools the freedom they need to innovate and excel.”

In addition to removing the arbitrary cap on university-authorized charter schools, reforms in the legislative package would:

  • Expand opportunities for cyber charter schools in Michigan;
  • Allow a majority of parents or teachers at a school to petition their district to convert the school to a charter;
  • Expand dual enrollment opportunities for high-achieving students and the ability of districts to provide services to part-time, non-public students; and
  • Meet the specific request laid out by Gov. Rick Snyder in his special message to the Legislature on education to require all districts in the state to participate in the current schools of choice program.

“Parents across Michigan are clamoring for more choices,” Pavlov said. “Governor Snyder challenged the Legislature to expand the schools of choice program, empower parents and ensure that every student has access to a quality education.  This package is a major step toward meeting those goals and breaking down the barriers standing between our kids and their future.”

The seven bill package is sponsored by Senators Pavlov; Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton; Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan; Goeff Hansen, R-Hart; and Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc.