Senate approves measure lifting the cap on charter schools

LANSING–The Michigan Senate on Thursday passed legislation 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, said sponsor Sen. Phil Pavlov.

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.

Pavlov said Senate Bill 618 addresses that problem.

“This bill enables parents to choose the best educational opportunities for their children and it allows schools to innovate and excel,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “We must not lose sight of what is best for our kids’ education when we discuss these issues.”

SB 618 will:

  • Foster healthy competition and better educational options by removing the arbitrary cap on the number of public charter schools allowed in the state;
  • Attract high-quality charter operators to Michigan by allowing charter boards to operate more than one school;
  • Promote best-practice sharing by permitting two or more authorizers to jointly charter schools;
  • Require charter contract renewals to be based predominantly on increased student academic achievement;
  • Allow a tax exemption for property occupied by a charter school and used exclusively for educational purposes; and
  • Add yet more accountability for public charter schools in terms of academic achievement and spending of taxpayer dollars.


SB 618 now heads to the Michigan House for further consideration.