The Wait Is Over
Gov. John Engler, who sixteen years ago, yes sixteen years ago, pleaded
with lawmakers to lift the 150 cap on charter schools.
Even though the aforementioned crusty and crafty GOP governor
usually had his way with legislators, the education lobby stiffed poor
ole Mr. Governor and he left office empty handed.
This week a GOP controlled legislature under a governor who is
neither crusty nor crafty finally finished the job.
By a narrow 58-49 margin with lots of angst in the GOP ranks, the
house adopted a phase-in of more charters beginning with 300, then 500
and then the skies the limit.
It was just one more insult to the Michigan Education Association
and colleagues which has sustained hit after hit from the R's in the
house and senate this year.
What's one more lump of coal?
For a time there were twenty Republicans who refused to join the
charter crusade. Some had great public schools and did not want a
charter siphoning off all those good students. Others argued for more
quality controls to make sure the charters did offer a better
education. And when all else failed Democrats argued companies that
run these schools are more interested in profits than teaching kids.,
But in the end the GOP House leadership prevailed by twisting
enough arms to pass the thing even though a handful of R's still voted
The opponents did carve out one minor victory. The new law will
not delayed for another year or so instead of going on the books right
After waiting sixteen years to get this, the charter gang can
hang on for one more.