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The Annual Charter Day at the Capitol event brings hundreds of charter school supporters together to stand up for the diversity, innovation, passion and success that Michigan's charter schools offer students across the state. This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're going 100% virtual with our event, bringing you a great lineup of speakers, a student performance and the same opportunity to connect with the MI Charter family, from the safety of your home. Our virtual celebration will look a little something like this:
This year, our goal is to celebrate the educators, students and families who comprise the MI Charter family - and we need your help. Here's some ways you can show your charter pride and stand with us:
Many lawmakers are uninformed about charter schools - some don't even know the local charters in their district. Charter Day is our time to come together and demonstrate that we are real teachers, students, parents and advocates - and we deserve to have a voice and value to our elected officials.
One commonly-held myth about charter schools is that they are NOT public schools. Every single Michigan charter school is an independently-operated public school, that is 100% tuition-free, and which holds a nonprofit status.
And while many charters have unique classroom flexibility, cultural integration, particular program focus or special curriculum, they are also all accountable to the exact same state accountability standards as traditional public schools.
A powerful and negative message often used by some lawmakers is that charter schools are run by for-profit management companies who bring students in only to make big bucks off of that per-pupil funding.
While some charter schools operate under a management company, others operate independently. AND, management companies help schools focus on education and curriculum, while they manage business aspects such as human resources, accounting, etc., taking only a minimal percentage fee. Whether the charter is independently-managed or operator-managed, it has no impact on the status of the school - all charters remain non-profit entities.
Because virtual and blended learning schools don't have traditional costs of facilities, transportation
We know that virtual and blended learning schools have entirely different costs, including technology and tech support, virtual software and interface tools, and more. AND, some blended models do offer brick-and-mortar learning labs to support students. Regardless, we still believe that every child should get equitable funding for their education choice.
Many believe that charter schools don't employ certified teachers, but that is entirely FALSE. Every teacher working inside a charter school building must be certified to teach in the state by the Michigan Department of Education.
What's more, we know that charter school teachers go above and beyond for our charter students, personalizing learning and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to grow and thrive.
Some lawmakers believe that charter schools shouldn't receive public funding dollars because they are not held accountable to the same state standards.
Every charter school is held to the exact same standards set forth by the Michigan Department of Education. AND, charters are held to additional accountability standards above and beyond by their charter authorizer. You can see how any charter measures up to a traditional public school by visiting the Michigan Parent Dashboard for School Transparency.