LANSING — State Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) today introduced a plan to make sure that parents of school-age children in traditional, charter, or cyber schools have access to top officials governing those schools through monthly public meetings. The bill requires traditional school boards and boards of directors of charter schools and cyber schools to hold public meetings once a month at a location, date, and time convenient for parents, teachers, and students.

“Everyone agrees that a great school district empowers parents to be active participants in their child’s education and creates a positive learning environment for every child,” said Sowerby. “By requiring school board meetings to be accessible and convenient, people can take ownership of their child’s education and be better informed about what is happening in their school district. Furthermore, this legislation increases transparency and accountability to taxpayers.”

The bill requires that charter schools hold the meeting at the charter school building, and cyber schools must hold their monthly public meetings within the school district in which the majority of pupils enrolled in the cyber school reside. Cyber schools would also be required to broadcast each monthly school board meeting on their website free of charge.

“School board meetings are the best opportunity for parents to hold the board accountable for decisions affecting their children,” said Sowerby. “Whether a student attends a public school nearby, or a charter school with board members from other communities; parents and community members still need to be able to meet with the officials responsible for educating their student and ask them questions face-to-face.”