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Snyder signs legislation expanding educational opportunities

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

LANSING, Mich. ‒ Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation expanding educational opportunities and choices for students and families by increasing the number of cyber charter schools and broadening eligibility for dual enrollment programs.

The reforms help students to best meet their needs while complementing Michigan's already outstanding traditional public schools.

"Michigan students can now achieve a quality education without boundaries," Snyder said. "Empowering more parents and students with the option to enroll in cyber charter schools and attend college level courses increases not only their educational opportunities, but also their potential for success."

Senate Bill 619, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Colbeck, lifts the cap on the number of cyber charter schools, and sets an enrollment limit of 2 percent of student population. It also removes the requirement of cyber school students having been previously enrolled in a public school.

Any applicant for a cyber school contract must demonstrate experience delivering a quality education program that improves student academic achievement, and offer any configuration of grades K-12 or all of those grades. Students will be issued a computing device by the school and the school will be responsible for subsidizing the cost of Internet access.

SB 619 is now Public Act 129 of 2012.

"One of the most innovative educational opportunities we can offer our children is the inclusion of cyber charter school options for our public school students," Colbeck said. "These schools provide a free, public education to students that can be tailored to address each child's strengths and weaknesses while providing increased one-on-one communication with a teacher.

"Providing more choice in public education empowers parents and gives them greater input in determining the best learning environment for their children. Cyber charter schools are a unique way to broaden that choice for many of Michigan's families."

Also signed as part of the package were:

SB 621, sponsored by Sen. Goeff Hansen, removes restrictions preventing public schools from receiving state aid funds to reimburse costs spent on some home and private schooled students who take classes at the public school, and allows any school in the student's ISD or adjacent ISD to make a claim of reimbursement. SB 621 is now PA 130 of 2012.

SBs 622, 623, 709 and 710, sponsored by Sen. Judy Emmons, expand the eligibility for high school students to participate in dual enrollment programs at community colleges or universities, or at career and technical preparation programs by removing a requirement that a student be a junior. The measures also allow home and private schooled students to enroll. The bills are now PAs 131-134 of 2012.

Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.

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