The legislature has been debating the Regional Enhancement Millage for weeks now. It is now going to the House floor for a full vote and Michigan charter school supporters have been talking this up a ton. So, why is that?
The bill SB 574 is a ground-breaking piece of legislation for Michigan’s charter school sector. It will help bring an even playing field in terms of funding. This is the first time in a long time where legislation will help change Proposal A and provide equal access to tax dollars for charter schools. Previously, charter schools were not considered a constituent district, which prohibited them from accessing local regional enhancement millages in the past.
SB 574 would allow charter schools to access local regional enhancement millages in the future. Let’s face it though, some charter schools may never reap the rewards from this piece of legislation if their local intermediate school district doesn’t put a millage on the ballot for a vote. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support this bill. This is an opportunity for the legislature to recognize that charter schools are just as public as traditional schools.
This bill would bring greater equity to the way public schools are funded. It would require school districts to share local property taxes with charter schools (because charter schools are public schools too!). Michigan joins other states like Florida and Colorado in advocating for bills in their state legislature to help mitigate funding inequities in communities where property taxes raise considerable money for public education.
At the end of the day, students in charter schools are public students and should be treated equitably. Just because a parent made a choice for a charter school does not mean that their child is worth less. Take 60 seconds and let your Representative know you support SB 574!