ON-Lion Letter
In December, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law that gradually removes limits on the number and location of university-authorized charter schools in the state.  The Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Mich., has been urging that parents be given the right to choose charter schools in Michigan since 1988.   
 
In 1992, for just one example, Robert Wittmann wrote for Mackinac that "competition cannot exist unless new suppliers are free to enter the market for educational services.  One option currently under consideration is to 'charter' new schools into the public system." 

In 1993, for another, Mackinac's Larry Reed noted, "When Wayne State University ... opened its new 'charter public school' this fall, more than 5,000 applications came flooding in from all over Detroit for only 330 seats.  As hundreds were given the disappointing news, there were voices from within the public school establishment opposing even this limited opportunity for the beleaguered children of Detroit.  What kind of an educational system is it that preaches the virtues of parental involvement but seeks to penalize some parents who want the best for their children? What kind of people behave as though the system were more important than the kids?"

In 2002, according to Mackinac's Joe Overton, "When the Mackinac Center for Public Policy introduced the concept of charter schools to Michigan in 1988, one of the main purposes was to allow these schools to operate relatively free of the crushing bureaucracy that is killing public education today, and which robs teachers and administrators of the joy and professionalism of their important work."

And in 2007, Mackinac's Ryan Olson and Deneen Borelli wrote that “policymakers and education officials must resist the urge to add to charter schools the burden of further regulations concerning 'quality.'  Quality is effectively addressed by the choices of education consumers -- parents -- and schools should not be hampered by more rules that limit how school leaders offer the educational services that parents desire."

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation supports the Mackinac Center.
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