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GOP lawmakers want more cyber schools in Michigan

Erik Hersman

There may soon be more online schools allowed to operate in Michigan. Republican leaders in the Legislature say they want to allow more so-called cyber schools for K-through-12. State Representative Tom McMillin chairs the House Education Committee. He says many lawmakers are impressed with the ability of cyber schools to help kids who struggle in traditional public schools, or drop out. "It has blown us away, I mean it’s extremely impressive. I think it’s going to be, once people see what it’s producing, what the results are, they get all excited about it,” McMillan said. Previous cyber-school legislation stalled because many lawmakers still question the effectiveness of online schools. Lobbyists for traditional public schools say it would be a mistake to open the state to lots of cyber schools before there’s more research on their effectiveness. They say the traditional public school model is still the best way to educate kids.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.