LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The limit on how many charter schools can be opened in Michigan is being raised.

The state now has 255 charter schools and new ones are allowed to open under certain circumstances. But the state currently has a limit of 150 charter schools authorized by public universities.

The cap would be gradually lifted and end in 2015 under the legislation Gov. Rick Snyder signed Tuesday.

“Under the first phase, it goes to 200 and then to 300 and then to 500 and then the sky’s the limit,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. “It was part of his (Snyder’s) education reform plan.”

Democrats, teachers unions and some administrators say the move will hurt traditional public school districts.  They also say the plan lacks enough oversight and does too little to ensure the quality of the new schools, which Snyder denies.

“They don’t want to lose kids who might go into the charter schools, but the Governor and other Republicans argue introducing competition into the education system raises the boat for everybody,” Skubick said.

Michigan has about 115,000 charter school students.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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