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but our determined leaders prevailed
In 1993, key leaders across Michigan embarked on a bold journey to change the state of public education in a new and dynamic way. Faced with falling graduation rates, low math and reading scores, and an increasingly competitive global workforce, these leaders knew that innovation was critical. In a bold speech addressing a grand education reform strategy, Governor John Engler proposed the creation of new autonomous public schools, which would offer a new realm of school choice for parents. Those schools would later become known as "charter public schools."
Join us as we travel back 25 years, and follow along with four of the movement's core leaders on their exciting journeys to empowering students and families.
Michigan sees its first charters
In 1994, Governor John Engler brings his visionary speech to fruition, signing charter schools officially into law. To achieve partisan support of the bill, a provision was added to include a cap of 150 total charter schools that could open in Michigan.
That fall, nine charter schools open their doors to families across the state.
The cap is reached
150 charter schools open their doors, thanks to parental demand and support, officially reaching the mandated "cap."
This would kick off a decade-long fight, in which MAPSA, parents, educators and advocates banned together to help life the cap and enable new charter schools to open to families.
Michigan says farewell to the cap
After a decade of hard work, Governor Rick Snyder, with support from parents, educators, advocates and other charter school stakeholders, passed legislation to remove the limit on new charter schools.
Today, there are nearly 300 charter schools across Michigan.