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Biden Plan Would Let Nation's Worst School District Shut Down Charter Competitors

Detroit school district has long history of underserving the neediest students

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan for charter schools would likely wipe them out in Michigan, according to the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

Biden essentially wants to empower conventional public school districts to withhold federal funding for charter schools, according to his plan.

His plan states: “We will call for conditioning federal funding for new, expanded charter schools or for charter school renewals on a district’s review of whether the charter will systematically underserve the neediest students.”

In Detroit, the Detroit Public Schools Community District has a long history of underserving the neediest students. Now, that district would be put in a position to shut down its own biggest local competitor: charter schools. As of 2017-18, there were 38,667 students in charter schools in Detroit and 44,837 student in the conventional district.

The need for an alternative for Detroit children and parents has been documented by the National Assessment of Education Progress, often called The Nation’s Report Card. Detroit’s district schools have been ranked the worst-performing of any large school district in the nation.

NAEP has placed Detroit schools last on its biannual rankings in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.