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Michigan Dems introduce ban on for-profit schools

Students heading to class in Lansing
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Students heading to class in Lansing

Democrats at the state Capitol are calling for an amendment to the Michigan constitution that would outlaw for-profit schools. Four out of five charter schools in Michigan currently operate as for-profit schools.

Democratic state Senator Rebekah Warren said only 17 percent of charter schools out-perform traditional public schools. She said school aid money should not go toward profits for businesses.

Warren said her amendment would not ban charter schools, but it would reform how they operate.

“If those companies are doing such a great job and they want to come in and they want to educate our kids they can reformat their business model and become non-profits,” she said “This isn’t saying they can’t operate here.”

But Republican state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said there’s no need for the measure.

“If they’re supplying a superior product and making a profit while doing it, educating children better than some nonprofits maybe, then why wouldn’t we want that choice to be out there?,” he said.

Voters must approve amendments to the state constitution.

A Republican proposal in the legislature would remove the cap on charter schools, allowing more to operate in Michigan. Warren said approving the Republican measure would make the problem worse.

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