About Charter Schools

Public School Academies (PSA's or charter schools) were enacted by the Michigan Legislature in 1993. As part of sweeping school funding reform, charter schools were allowed to form to give choice to parents within the public school system. Under Michigan's charter school law, enacted as Part 6A of the Revised School Code, a charter could be issued to establish new charter schools by the following existing educational bodies: School district boards, intermediate school district boards, community college boards, and State public university boards. These entities are designated authorizing bodies (authorizers).

In 1996, the Legislature imposed a limit, or cap, on the total charters that could be issued by the governing boards of state public universities. According to that legislation, the combined total number of schools that could be chartered by public university boards could not exceed eighty-five through 1996, 100 through 1997, 125 through 1998, and 150 thereafter. The authorizing bodies in the State of Michigan were capped at this level until 2011.

In December 2011, the Michigan Legislature passed PA 277 which expanded the cap to 300 in December 2012, and 500 through December 2014.  After 2014 the cap was completely lifted so that there is no restriction on the combined total number of contracts that may be issued by all state public universities.