Michigan's Charter Schools

are transforming education across the state, providing access to quality learning opportunities regardless of race, zip code, educational needs or income level.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are free, independently-operated public schools that have the flexibility and autonomy to meet their students' needs. 

Find a charter school near you.

20%

less funding per pupil compared to students in traditional public schools

293

charter schools in Michigan serving over 150,000 students.

32%

more cost-effective than the average traditional public school in the same city

Our MI Charter History 

In 1994, Governor John Engler, along with other state leaders, had a bold vision for a better education future in Michigan. Over 25 years later, that vision is realized in over 300 charter schools across the state.

A photo of former Michigan Governor, John Engler.
Law & first charters

1994

Governor John Engler signs the charter schools legislation into law. That fall, Michigan’s first nine charter schools open their doors.

A photo of MAPSA President, Dan Quisenberry (left) and MAPSA Director of Membership, Heather Risner (right).
MAPSA

1996

The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) is formed, giving the state’s charter schools a united voice.

A photo of MAPSA President, Dan Quisenberry, speaking on stage with a male guest.
100 school milestone

1997

Michigan reaches 100 charter schools, as the 1997-98 school year begins with 106 charter schools. 

A historic photo of three young charter school female students.
The charter cap 

1999

150 schools open across the state, thanks to parental demand and support, officially reaching the mandated "cap" for charter schools.

A photo of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
The cap is lifted

2011

After a decade of hard work, Governor Rick Snyder passed legislation to remove the limit on new charter schools. 

We believe in different 

Michigan's diverse and innovative charter schools shape dynamic and creative learning opportunities that meet the needs of every student, helping them realize their goals, passions, and highest potential.

Flexible Innovation

Our innovative teaching styles and campuses empower educators to push the boundaries of traditional teaching.

Meaningful Success

Our success is reflected in our students' performance and growth. We believe in a holistic and engaging experience.

Empowered Choice

We believe that meaningful partnerships between parents and educators help uncover the best school option for every student.

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Discover our stories

We are educators, learners, parents and advocates alike. We believe in our charter schools because they've changed our lives. These are our voices, these are our stories.

get the stories now