Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Michigan city loses public schools

If you live in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, and want to send your kids to a public school, you're out of luck.

A state-appointed manager for the Muskegon Heights school district has just converted the entire school system to charter schools - which are, in essence, private schools that receive public funds.

For a district to abolish all its public schools is of course illegal under federal law, as all students are entitled to a public education. It echoes a failed experiment in Hartford, Connecticut, in the '90s that was equally illegal: Hartford briefly gave its public schools to a for-profit corporation before that deal collapsed. (It's also reminiscent of Campbell County, Kentucky, of my youth, which was de facto charter, as the Campbell County Schools unlawfully excluded anybody they felt like excluding. But that's another story.)

When Muskegon Heights became charter, the school system did of course fire all the teachers - which is surely illegal as well.

Expect lawsuits.


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