Thursday, August 03, 2006

Michigan Court of Appeals Ruling in Bay Mills Lawsuit “Terrific News for More Than 10,000 Schoolchildren”

MIDLAND — "This is terrific news for the more than 10,000 schoolchildren at Bay Mills Community College’s charter schools," said Mackinac Center Director of Education Policy Ryan S. Olson today, speaking of a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling released Wednesday rejecting the Michigan Education Association’s challenge to state funding of Bay Mills Community College’s 32 public charter schools. "MEA officials persist in seeking the extraordinary relief of defunding a set of public schools freely chosen by thousands of Michigan families, and the union is doing so despite overwhelming evidence that it is wrong in this matter," added Olson. "In fact, the state Legislature, the state superintendent, the state Department of Education and the state treasurer have consistently viewed the schools as constitutional."

"It’s hard to see what the MEA would gain by continuing to appeal this case," said Patrick J. Wright, who, as the Center’s senior legal analyst, filed the Center’s friend of the court brief in the lawsuit. "The union’s substantive arguments are almost certainly foreclosed by the Michigan Supreme Court’s charter school ruling in 1997, meaning that even if the state Supreme Court were to grant the MEA standing to sue the state in this case, the union would be likely to lose on the merits."