Statement from state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) on his opposition to Senate Bill 574 concerning charter schools and enhancement millage funds:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

LANSING – The House Committee on Education Reform today held a hearing on Senate Bill 574, which would allow charter schools, including for-profit schools, that are located within Intermediate School Districts to receive proceeds from an enhancement millage. In response, state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet), who testified against the bill in committee, issued the following statement:

“I am opposed to Senate Bill 574 because it would send the hard-earned tax dollars of U.P. residents to for-profit companies that run some of the charter schools in the U.P. If my residents approve a school enhancement millage, they expect it to go to the public schools and students that our tax dollars are supposed to support. If this money is also sent to charter schools we will have no way of knowing if the money is going into the classroom or to increase the bottom line of a for-profit company. Charter schools do not operate the same as public schools. They do not pay into the teacher retirement system if they are operated by education management organizations, and many spend less on special education than public schools do. Our public schools are already struggling to find the funding they need to support our students, and this bill would only make things worse. Taxpayer-supported enhancement millages should support public schools and public school students, and that is why I am opposed to Senate Bill 574.”