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In this morning's news...

Morning News Roundup, Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
Brother O'Mara
Morning News Roundup, Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Cap on Charters Lifted

Governor Snyder has signed a bill that lifts the restriction on the number of university-sponsored charter schools that are allowed in the state. Laura Weber reports:

Snyder said he hopes allowing more charter schools to open their doors in Michigan will encourage all schools to improve their performance. Critics of the measure say the law does not include enough assurances that charter schools meet high standards. And they say charter schools leave out special-needs students through selective enrollment and interviewing. The law will allow an unlimited number of university-sponsored charter schools to operate in Michigan by 2015.

Financial Review

The state begins a preliminary review of the Muskegon Heights School District’s finances today. It’s the first step in a process that could lead to an emergency manager being appointed for the district. “Many school districts and municipalities make an effort to avoid state takeovers. But in Muskegon Heights, the school board is asking for one. Earlier this month the Muskegon Heights’ school board decided it didn’t have enough money to employ a superintendent… And, in a letter to the district, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan outlined six concerns he has about the financial viability of the district,” Lindsey Smith reports. The state expects to finish the preliminary review by January 10th.

Detroit Library Closures

Despite a last minute push to keep them open, four branches of the Detroit Public Library system will close this week. “Supporters of the four branches packed the Detroit Library Commission meeting yesterday. The Commission actually voted to close the libraries last month. But library advocates were hoping Commissioners would issue them a temporary reprieve, so they could try and raise money to keep the branches open. But Commissioners refused to move the issue, meaning the branches will close as scheduled on December 22,” Sarah Cwiek reports.

Zoe Clark is Michigan Public's Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.