Which lawmakers have the most charter schools in their districts? Overwhelmingly Democrats

Buddy Moorehouse
May 8, 2023 10:35:20 AM

A new analysis by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association, shows which state lawmakers have the most charter schools in their districts. The result: Democrats dominate the list.

Among State Senators, the top seven with the most charter schools in their districts are all Democrats, as are 11 of the top 15. Among State Representatives, the results are even more lopsided – the top 16 are all Democrats, as are 20 of the top 21.

MAPSA President Dan Quisenberry said the findings are not surprising. He noted that charter schools tend to be very popular among parents and families in traditional Democratic strongholds. In Detroit and Flint, for example, two areas that traditionally vote Democratic, about half the children attend charter schools.

This analysis certainly reinforces the idea that if you have that many charter schools in your district, you should be a charter school supporter,” Quisenberry said.

Quisenberry also noted that a majority of Americans believe that providing students with the option of charter schools is extremely important among voters of all political stripes.

The most recent statewide polling on the issue of charter schools was done in the spring of 2022, and it showed that support for charter schools was up among every political persuasion,” Quisenberry said. “Support among Democrats was up eight points, from 46% in 2020 to 54.3% in 2022. Among Republicans, support was up three points, from 75% to 78.3%. And among Independents, support was up 16 points, from 46.7% to 62.8%. Across the board, parents and voters strongly support charter schools.”

For the analysis of which lawmakers have the most charter schools in their district, MAPSA looked at individual charter school campuses (because a single charter school district might have more than one location). The analysis showed that Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, has by far the most charter schools in her district, with 44. That’s double the amount of the next-closest lawmaker – Sen. Mary Cavanagh, D-Redford, who has 22.


In the House, first place goes to Rep. Abraham Aiyash, D-Hamtramck, who has 17 charter schools in his district.


Here are the top 15 Senators, and the number of charter schools each lawmaker has in his of her district:


  1. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit - 44
  2. Mary Cavanagh, D-Redford - 22
  3. (tie) Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield - 20 and  Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor - 20
  4. Sylvia Santana, D-Detroit - 19
  5. Paul Wojno, D-Warren - 17
  6. John Cherry, D-Flint - 15
  7. Mark Huizenga, R-Walker - 13
  8. (tie) Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids - 12 and Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia - 12
  9. Sen. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs - 12
  10. (tie) Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo - 11 and Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton - 11
  11. Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet, D-Bay City – 11
  12. Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor – 10

Here are the top 21 Representatives, and the number of charter schools each lawmaker has in his or her district:

  1. Abraham Aiyash, D-Hamtramck - 17
  2. Tyrone Carter, D-Detroit - 16
  3. Mike McFall, D-Detroit - 13
  4. Stephanie Young, D-Detroit - 12
  5. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia - 11
  6. (tie) Rep. Brenda Carter, D-Pontiac - 10 and Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit - 10
  7. Rep. Donovan McKinney, D-Detroit - 8
  8. (tie) Rep. Natalie Price, D-Berkley - 7 Rep. Alabas Farhat, D-Dearborn - 7 Rep. Jason Hoskins, D-Southfield - 7 Rep. Dylan Wegela, D-Garden City - 7 Rep. Cynthia Neeley, D-Flint - 7 Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids - 7 Rep. Kristian Grant, D-Grand Rapids - 7 Rep. Will Snyder, D-Muskegon - 7
  9. (tie) Rep. Veronica Paiz, D-Harper Woods - 6 Rep. Jimmie Wilson, D-Ypsilanti - 6 Rep. Phil Skaggs, D-East Grand Rapids - 6 Rep. Amos O’Neal, D-Saginaw - 6 Rep. James DeSana, R-Carleton - 6

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