Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law a change allowing charter schools to receive revenue from certain voter-approved property tax hikes.
The taxes go to counties' traditional school districts on a per-student basis, on top of their state funding. The new law lets charters get a share of the extra local funding. Charters will only benefit when existing millages are renewed or new millages are approved.
The biggest impact is in the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas. The legislation was backed by many Republicans but opposed by Democrats. According to the rationale summary produced by the Michigan Senate, there is concern that this will public school academies at a disadvantage and creates an inequality among the students within intermediate school districts. Others say that allowing charter schools to receive money from regional enhancement property taxes would minimize this disparity. Gov. Snyder signed the bill Wednesday, saying a charter school will be ineligible for the funds if audits show problems and if it doesn't prove its special education program is compliant with laws.