Virtual School Meanderings

May 3, 2012

Cyber School Expansion Approved In Michigan

From Tuesday’s inbox…

April 2012 Capitol Report – Latest Headlines

To: AFT Michigan Members and Retirees

The April 2012 Capitol Report is now available on the AFT Michigan website.

A .pdf version of the April report may be downloaded by clicking on this link: http://aftmichigan.org/files/capitolAP12.pdf

The current Capitol Report may also be located on the AFT Michigan website at: http://aftmichigan.org/takeaction/capitol/capitol.html

The Capitol Report gives you the latest news out of Lansing on issues the legislature is working on that may effect your work and life.

Here are the headlines in the April Capitol Report:

  • Bill Expands Cyber Schools
  • All Education Budgets Pass House/Senate
  • 2012-2013 K-12 School Aid Budgets – HOUSE and SENATE Comparison
  • 2012-2013 Higher Education Budgets HOUSE and SENATE Comparison
  • 2012-2013 Community College Budget – HOUSE and SENATE Comparison
  • Expanding Dual Enrollment
  • School Aid for Non-public School Students’ Instruction

You are subscribed to the AFT Michigan e-mail alert system which is designed to keep you informed about happenings in the legislature, the union and the community.  You may also keep up with legislative, political, and union activities on the AFT Michigan website or the AFT Michigan Facebook page.

The newsletter includes the following information:

Bill Expands Cyber Schools

Senate Bill 619 (Substitute H-3) (Colbeck, R-Canton) was amended and passed the House on April 26. An immediate motion to reconsider the vote has held the bill in the House until at least May 1. It will then return to the Senate for concurrence.

This bill will do the following:

  • Eliminate the limit of two on the number of contracts that may be issued for schools of excellence that are cyber schools, and increase the total to 5 in 2013; 10 in 2014; and 15 after December 31, 2014.
  • Permit local districts and ISDs to authorize one cyber school each.
  • Permit each cyber school to enroll 2,500 pupils the first year; 5,000 pupils the second year; and pupil enrollment will be capped at 10,000 the third year and thereafter.
  • Allow cyber schools to offer any grade configuration.
  • Allow a cyber school to sell any of its course offerings to other public schools.
  • Allow cyber charter schools to enroll students from anywhere in the state.
  • Require cyber charter school to provide a computer, internet subsidy, and parent orientation for each family.
  • Require reporting on per pupil cost to operate cyber charter schools due to MDE on October 1, 2012.
  • Require a cyber school to demonstrate experience delivering a quality education program that improves student academic achievement.

Fifty-six House members voted “YES” on the bill. All Democrats, except Representative Shanelle Jackson (Detroit), voted “NO.” Eight Republicans also voted “NO” on Senate Bill 619: Farrington (Utica); Forlini (Harrison Township); Horn (Frankenmuth); Glardon (Owosso); Goike (Ray Township), Johnson (Clare); Muxlow (Brown City); and Pettalia (Presque Isle).

Here are some of the articles written in the past few days about the issue (note I have participated in some of the online discussions on these news items):

Because we all know what this boils down to…  Corporate School Reform, The Final Frontier or How to Destroy Education While Making a Trillion Dollars!

When I look at what is becoming of education in the United States, I’m so glad I live in Canada!!!

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