The Detroit Free Press published a series of deeply researched articles about the charter schools in the state, most of which operate for profit. The state spends $1 billion on charters but does not hold them accountable for financial practices or academic outcomes. Charter schools do NOT get better results educating students in poverty.

Will legislators or the governor care? Not as long as the charter lobby keeps sending in those campaign contributions.

Here is the summary: (Open the article for many links and videos)

A yearlong Free Press investigation of Michigan’s charter schools found wasteful spending, conflicts of interest, poor performing schools and a failure to close the worst of the worst. Among the findings:

Charter schools spend $1 billion per year in state taxpayer money, often with little transparency.

Some charter schools are innovative and have excellent academic outcomes — but those that don’t are allowed to stay open year after year.

A majority of the worst-ranked charter schools in Michigan have been open 10 years or more.

Charter schools as a whole fare no better than traditional schools in educating students in poverty.

Michigan has substantially more for-profit companies running schools than any other state.

Some charter school board members were forced out after demanding financial details from management companies.

State law does not prevent insider dealing and self-enrichment by those who operate schools.