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Report: Change in state law has made Michigan more charter friendly

Ji Hyun Park / EyeEm

Michigan lawmakers made a big charter-friendly move last year that helped the state improve its ranking on a national survey.

That move? Lawmakers changed state law to allow charter schools to share in the revenue from voter-approved school tax hikes known as “enhancement millages.” Prior to 2018, that revenue could only be shared among traditional school districts.

Enhancement millages are countywide millages that must be approved by voters. They allow schools to raise additional revenue that can be used however schools see fit. Wayne County voters approved a six-year, two-mill enhancement millage in 2016, which districts have used to lower class sizes, upgrade technology, hire literacy coaches, expand preschool programs and make building improvements such as roof repairs.

The report out today, from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, is a ranking of state charter school laws. The organization, a charter school advocacy group, measures state laws against its own model charter school law.

Michigan’s ranking improved from 30th last year to 27th this year. Indiana was the top-ranked state for the fourth year in a row.

Read the full report below:

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