As you may have heard, charter schools were set to get an important per-pupil increase for the second year in a row, which would have narrowed the equity gap to under $500 for the first time in charter school history. On October 1, 2019, Governor Whitmer used her line item veto authority to remove the increase for charter schools, while leaving the increase intact for all traditional public schools.
In a sweeping effort, nearly 15,000 charter advocates sent over 40,000 emails to their lawmakers and the Governor over the past two months. Thousands more made phone calls, showed up at coffee hours with their legislators, attended press event rallies, and more - all in a united move to stand up for their students and their schools.
Last week, both the Michigan Senate and House passed supplemental bills to restore the $240 per-pupil funding increase for the rest of the school year, and retroactively restore the funds that were missing from the last two State Aid payments delivered to the 294 charter schools across the state.
The final hurdle comes right back to Governor Whitmer; only her signature can officially restore these funds.
And while that restoration will be fantastic news, we are waiting with bated breath. In Lansing, we first heard she would be signing the bill early this week, but now the most recent insight says she will be sign this Friday to ensure her legal team has ample time for review. Despite the delay, we believe that Governor Whitmer WILL sign the bill, and our students will see their funding restored.
As we reflect on the equity gap, and the monumental leaps we've made as a movement in closing it, we are eager to see every "i" dotted, and "t" crossed before we declare victory. MAPSA will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide an update once the Governor officially signs the restoration into effect.