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Politics & Government

Gov. Snyder wants more transparency in spending by schools, but not charter companies

Gov. Rick Snyder
Governor Rick Snyder delivering his State of the State address Wednesday night.

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s for more transparency in school spending, but he’s not ready to apply those standards to private companies that run charter schools.

A Detroit Free Press series on charter schools found, among other things, that private management companies that run charters are not required to explain how they spend state payments. Governor Snyder says he could support stricter disclosure requirements for all schools – not just charters – but not necessarily the private companies that run charter academies.

“Well I don’t know about it being a company, but in terms of what information that gets disclosed, that’s a fair question to ask what should be disclosed about that school,” he said. “… One thing I would like to look at is not just with charter schools, but all schools in terms of what we can do with transparency, accountability, those sorts of issues. So I think that is a good topic for us to talk about in a broad fashion.”

Traditional public schools are already required to respond to Freedom of Information requests from the public and the media. The Free Press says many charter school operators use their status as private businesses to skirt disclosing how they spend money from taxpayers.

Charter companies dispute much of what the Free Press is reporting.

Governor Snyder just signed a $15.8 billion education budget that covers K-12 schools, community colleges, and public universities.

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