State Superintendent Wants More Transparency For Charter Schools - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

State Superintendent Wants More Transparency For Charter Schools

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - The state school superintendent says he plans to stop the creation of more charter schools within six months that don't measure-up on the transparency scale.

Mike Flanagan spoke with 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick about efforts to let taxpayers know where their billion dollars is going in the charter school system.

Last February, the state school superintendent called in all the universities and others who do the background checks before a charter school is allowed to open. Mike Flanagan says he found troubling information from the so called authorizers.

Then came this two-year long investigation by the Detroit Free Press on the pros and cons of charters.

The head of the Charter School Association responding to the articles asserted that there is transparency when it comes to the public release of information surrounding where the money goes in charters schools.

“Leases, contracts, budgets, things that are expended are absolutely provided and the authorizers also look at that information as well,” said Dan Quisenberry, President, Charter School Association.

But Superintendent Flanagan is not so sure which is why he wants to impose tougher transparency standards on all charters including the schools that are operated by a for profit company.

 “Those are the ones apparently that have been less likely to let some big transparency in. So I’m going to try to force the hand that those kinds of things be transparent and then let the authorizers judge whether or not if it’s appropriate,” said Mike Flanagan, State School Superintendent.

Mr. Flanagan has a list of principles that would assure taxpayers where their money is going.

If the principles are not met, Mr. Flanagan is prepared to stop authorizers from creating more charters.

“The transparency issue is something we need to get better at and if we find that they don't measure up with appropriate transparency, then I’ll make sure they can’t offer more charters options,” said Flanagan.
Reporter: “Will you give them a pass first ?”
Flagan: “Probably not.”

In effect he says, clean up your act, or else.
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