Snyder, Flanagan address cyber charter school legislation

Contact: Martin Ackley or Sara Wurfel 517-241-4395 or 517-335-6397
Agency: Education

May 3, 2012

LANSING, Mich.—Gov. Rick Snyder and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan today said that the student enrollment cap for cyber schools contained in Senate Bill 619 clearly is the Legislature's intent and will be enforced. The bill, which allows for a phased-in expansion in the number of cyber schools, was approved by lawmakers on Wednesday.

Opponents have tried to raise questions about the enrollment cap by citing an unrealistic scenario that they claim will allow the cap to be exceeded.

"The intent of Senate Bill 619 is to cap cyber charter school enrollment at two percent of student population. That is how it will be enforced," Flanagan said. "If and when that limit is reached, no further students will be permitted to enroll in a cyber charter school. The unrealistic figures being thrown around are hypothetical and imprudent. Michigan's public community schools are outstanding, and our focus must remain on student achievement and providing a quality education for our children."

Snyder said the online expansion of charter schools is good news for Michigan families.

"We believe that online learning is a good thing, and providing interested parents and students the ability to enroll in a cyber charter school increases opportunities for a quality education," Snyder said. "It improves access to learning for those families that feel it is the best for them. In so doing we must and we will maintain proper oversight while continuing to strengthen our outstanding traditional public schools."

SB 619 permits the state to operate five cyber charter schools by 2013. In 2014 the cap will be raised to 10 cyber schools, after which the number could increase to 15. The number of enrolled students in each cyber school will gradually increase from 2,500 in the first year, to 5,000 in the second, and 10,000 in the third year and beyond. As soon as cyber charter school enrollment exceeds the two percent cap of total student population, no new students can enroll.

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