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State Could See As Many As 15 Online Charter Schools By 2014

LANSING (WWJ) – Governor Rick Snyder Tuesday signed legislation to allow for more online charter schools in the state. The measure lifts the cap on the schools from 2 to 15 by 2014.

But critics of the bill such as Michigan State Senator Rebekah Warren say there isn’t any data from those two schools to show how well they are working.

Warren says information from other states has not been encouraging.

“Teacher-student ratio of somewhere between 1-80 or 1-120, where as in our traditional classroom our expectation is that we try to keep that number as low as possible so that students are getting the most one-on-one interaction with their teacher, with their educator, that they can get,” said Warren.

She is concerned because the charter authorizer is getting a full per-pupil allotment.

“A full 80 percent of our charter schools in Michigan are operated by ‘for profit’ management companies,” said Warren. “So when you talk about getting a full per-pupil allotment to an online education management organization – you are really talking about building the bottom line of that company, more than you are talking about that child’s education.”

The legislation signed Tuesday also broadens eligibility for dual enrollment programs.

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