2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 82%
Although Michigan’s grade dropped this year from an “A” to a “B,” the state remains high on CER’s list at number four. The extent to which Michigan regulates charter schools and a lack of facilities funding negatively impact its score. Nevertheless, the law allows for multiple, strong authorizers, which secures Michigan a place in the top five.
The strength of Michigan’s charter school law stems from the strength of its university authorizers. Early pioneers in the charter movement, Michigan universities have built their own chartering processes, some of which allow authorizers to track progress in real time. Michigan’s charter sector has received negative (often unwarranted) attention in the past year, resulting in limited growth in the charter sector.
- Law passed in 1993
- Number of charters: 300
- Estimated charter enrollment: 146,100 (down 2 percent from 2015-16)
- Michigan has no caps on the number of brick and mortar charter schools but does cap the number of Virtual Charter Schools
- Charter schools do not receive facilities funding
- Michigan allows contracts with a variety of education service providers
- Michigan has one of the highest charter school closure rates
in the country (22 percent), demonstrating that multiple authorizers take the performance of charter schools seriously and that charter schools can and are held to a high standard of accountability
- Michigan scores a perfect 15 of 15 for “authorizing.” Its authorizers operate free from the laws and regulations of the state education department. This independence allows authorizers (mostly universities) to use the logistical capacity and experience they already have in administering programs and being publicly accountable to constituents, students and staff.
- Despite slowed growth in some places, the capacity for growth and expansion in Michigan’s law earns the state a relatively high score on this measure. However, there is a state cap on all but reservation- and district-based authorizers. Lifting the state cap would spur new and necessary growth.
- Operationally, Michigan’s schools are not exempt from most state regulations. Instead, schools have to request a waiver of specific regulations from the state. Although the state has a history of approving most waiver requests, a blanket waiver, allowed by law, would be a boon to the charter sector.
- Charter schools in Michigan receive the foundation allowance that any traditional public school in the state would receive (around $8,000 per pupil). However, charter schools do not receive any per-pupil facilities funding from the state, nor do they receive any additional state aid for facilities (localities support facilities with local tax dollars). This lack of facilities funding results in great inequities for charter school students.
Teacher Quality Score: 75%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers D-
Identifying Effective Teachers C
Retaining Effective Teachers D-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers D
Overall State Grade C-