Perhaps the most promising expansion of parental choice in Michigan occurred in late 1993 when the Legislature passed charter school legislation as part of a package of bills reforming educational programs and funding. Enacted in 1994, the current public school academy statute gives state public universities, community colleges, and intermediate and local school districts the authority to contract for the creation of "public school academies" or charter schools, to provide education to Michigan’s students.18 During the 1996-97 school year, 76 schools were operating under school charters. Although several universities, most notably Central Michigan University, have granted charters to establish schools, few school districts have exercised this option.

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