Have you ever seen a happier group of people? They’re giving each other a big group hug and flashing their brightest smiles at the camera. Just by looking at it, this picture could be one of many possible events. It could be an office party, a wedding reception or even a convention meet and greet session. Perhaps it’s a high school reunion and these folks are catching up and remembering all the fun they had. That’s the best guess we can make about the people smiling in this picture.
But who are these people and what are they really celebrating? This is a picture of a group giddy with happiness because Governor Snyder signed SB 618, the law that lifted the cap on charter schools in the state of Michigan. From left to right we have Beth DeShone of the Great Lakes Education Project, Gary Naeyaert and Mary Kay Shields of the John Engler Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University, and Billie Wimmer from the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers.
More charter schools for Michigan and they couldn’t be happier. Now that we know charter schools in this state run by for-profit private companies cost Michigan taxpayers a billion dollars a year with no public oversight and very lax enforcement of regulations, are they still celebrating? The answer to that is likely ‘yes’.