The Silver Anniversary of Accountability

Twenty-five years. That’s how long it’s been since Michigan’s public charter school law was first enacted.

That’s a quarter century of schools that put student needs first. Schools producing results that matter. Schools thriving under the toughest accountability of any public school in Michigan—or even across the U.S.

In many other states, charter schools are given more legal flexibility and autonomy in exchange for meeting higher performance standards. But that’s not the Michigan model.

Here in our state, public charter schools are held to the same statutes, rules, and regulations as all other public schools. Freedom of Information Act? Check. Open Meetings Act? Check. State assessments, teacher certification requirements, and financial reporting duties? Check and double-check. 

And when we say double-check, that’s not an exaggeration. Not only do charter public schools comply with all the same laws and procedures, serving as constituent districts of Michigan’s ISDs and Department of Education, but they also have their academic, financial, and operational results reviewed and verified by us—their authorizers. 

Public charter schools don’t face just the same level of accountability, they actually experience more of it than Michigan’s traditional schools do. And they experience more than their peers in other states across the country.

As authorizers, we’re proud of the accountability we offer. We’re excited about the results public charter schools are achieving, and we’re pushing for more and more success on behalf of the students and families being served.

During the past 25 years, the state’s public charter sector has developed into a solid, reliable network of 300 high-achieving schools serving more than 150,000 students per year. Charters are cost-effective, transparent, and fully accountable. 

And they’re just getting started.