$45 million grant request to improve Michigan charter schools rejected by U.S. Department of Education

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has rejected a $45 million grant request from Michigan to improve and expand charter schools.

The Detroit Free Press reports the decision was made largely because the state lacks oversight of authorizers who approve and oversee charter schools. The newspaper says efforts by grassroots organizers to start charter schools will be affected.

The state also scored poorly when evaluated on the academic performance of charter schools and the state’s plan to improve achievement among disadvantaged students in them.

Jared Burkhart, executive director of the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers, says they’re “doing things that are hopefully leading to better outcomes.”

The Michigan Department of Education had received the multiyear federal grant for $23 million in 2007 and $44 million in 2010.

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