Michigan has been Betsy DeVos’ Petri dish for school choice for 20 years. The state theoretically has no for-profit charters but in reality, 80% of its charters are run by for-profit management companies.

Michigan also has the largest number of charters that received millions from the federal Charter Schools Program but never opened. These are “ghost schools.” Carol Burris identified them in the NPE report Asleep at the Wheel.

Reporter Allison Donahue investigated to see where the money went.

The study highlighted how the money was spent at four of Michigan’s “ghost schools”:  The Harris Academy, The Great Lakes Anchor Academy, Cultivating Growth and Warren Classical Academy.

Although the inspiration to open these charters differs from developer to developer, a common thread was found within these ghost schools’ invoices ─ for-profit consultants and education management organizations.

Betsy DeVos gave Michigan another $47 million to add more charters, but the state board of education rejected the grant. However the state attorney general said the state education Department was required to disperse the funds.

DeVos wants more charters-in Michigan, Alabama, New Hampshire, Texas, everywhere— and as the saying goes in D.C., she is shoveling the money out the door as fast as she can.

Needed or not, here come more charters!