The Detroit Federation of Teachers is threatening to sue if Michigan universities sponsor charter schools, as allowed under a new state law. On what grounds? They’ll come up with something. Central Michigan University is thinking of starting a Detroit charter school. The Detroit News reports:
Janna Garrison, head of the union representing roughly 9,000 teachers in Detroit Public Schools, wouldn’t specify on what legal grounds the union would challenge the law, saying it’s still premature. But she said CMU and other colleges considering authorizing new charters should be “ashamed.”
“What they’re doing is not about educating students,” Garrison said. “What they’re doing is about making money off our children: greed.”
Last year, philanthropist Bob Thompson offered to give $200 million to build 15 small, high-quality charter high schools in Detroit. Legislators changed the charter law to make it possible, but the union fought so hard and the politics got so vicious that Thompson withdrew his offer.
In Santa Rosa, California, the high school district board is considering a novel way to fight charters: Deny charter middle school graduates the right to attend their neighborhood high schools. Instead, all charter grads who want to attend a regular high school would be sent to Elsie Allen High, which has the lowest test scores and the highest poverty rate. This should encourage charter high schools in Santa Rosa.