You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University to open 3 new charters in Ypsilanti and Detroit

By Kellie Woodhouse

Eastern Michigan University is adding two charter schools in Detroit and one in the current Willow Run school district near Ypsilanti to its growing stock of public academies.


Eastern Michigan University

File photo

The schools are slated to open next fall.

They mark the first new schools to be chartered by EMU since 1999, four years after it began opening charter schools.

EMU regents approved the new schools during their meeting Tuesday.

The new school — at 1715 Forest St.— in the Willow Run school district will be named Global Tech Academy. It will be the second EMU charter in Washtenaw County. The school will offer kindergarten through fifth-grade education for 250 students.

Malverne Winborne, director of the Charter School Program at EMU, called the charters "an ideal option for providing a quality education for the youth of Michigan.”

Charter schools are publicly funded schools that operate independently from the public school districts in which they are located. They are governed by a charter, held by a chartering authority. In Michigan, those authorities include universities and community colleges and school districts.

The approval of the new schools comes a week before residents of the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts will take to the polls to decide whether to consolidate the two struggling school districts. In addition to their financial problems, these districts have lost hundreds of students in the past five years — most to charter schools.

In the 2010-11 school year, Willow Run saw more than 400 of its students enroll in a charter school. More than 800 children with addresses in the Ypsilanti district attended a charter school.

Global Tech Academy would be the sixth charter school to open in the Ypsilanti area.


South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy in Ypsilanti received 1,275 applications for its first school year.

Angela Cesere |

This fall, South Pointe Scholars Academy, a K-6 charter, and WSC Academy, a high school charter, opened. South Pointe received 1,274 applications this fall and turned away 670 students. About 30 percent of the school’s students have addresses in the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts, South Point officials said.

Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel said, given the impact the existing charters have had on the Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts already, he is disheartened to learn of the new charter.

“It will certainly be a disappointment and a concern. It accelerates the continued drain of students from the two districts and continues to take taxpayer dollars away from these districts, which are already in debt,” Menzel said.

Winborne is not new to such criticisms.

"We run into those who favor it and those who oppose it. Our concern is the students and families," he said. "In the charter school world parents vote with their feet. If they're not receiving services they will leave."

Meanwhile, in an effort to help the Ypsilanti and Willow Run public school districts, state Rep. David Rutledge, D-Superior Township, has introduced legislation that would require a three-year moratorium on any new charter schools opening within a newly consolidated school district.

The three schools opening include:

  • Boggs Education Center, which will be located within the Detroit Public School District and have a total of 304 students. The school has selected to implement a Place-Based Education Program, a nationally renowned and research-based model that immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of academic subjects. Boggs Education Center will offer grades K-3 initially and K-12 at capacity, and will be located at 1501 Canton St., Detroit.
  • Detroit Public Safety Academy, also located within the Detroit Public School District, which will have 250 students upon opening and a total of 500 students at capacity. The academy’s focus will be educating and training students who are interested in police and firefighter technology, specifically addressing under-represented populations in these careers. Local and state federal police agencies and municipal firefighters will assist with tutoring, mentoring and life skills development. The academy plans to provide provide school-to-university-to career readiness as well as teach the essential pillars of character education. It will offer grades 9 and 10 for the first year, and increase to grades 9-12 at capacity. The school will be located 1250 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit, MI.
  • Global Tech Academy, which will be located in the Willow Run School District. The school will an after-school program as well as a universal breakfast and lunch program. With Eastern’s Office of Urban Education Educational Equity (OUEEE) as a partner, Global Tech Academy will become a professional development school for the preparation of urban teachers. The school will offer grades K-5 and a capacity of 250.

The charter contracts will be effective July 1, 2013.

When EMU announced intentions to open more charter schools, 21 potential schools applied. The pool was whittled down to 10 applicants and three were selected.

Once the three schools come on-line, EMU will operate 11 charters located in Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw and Genesee counties.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt contributed to this report.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Hey does nobody actually check facts before posting. If you go to the charter schools website the information is right there. There are no salaries over 100k so no name would be listed. Clear as day. Just click on the transparency link.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

EMU needs to be revamping their school of education ,not starting charter schools.Shame on you for not supporting your local school system .U of M has revamped and they are sending high quality staff members to local schools. EMU use to be the top place for students going into education .


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

Why is the WISD superintendent disappointed? Doesn't WISD charter Honeycreek school? What's the difference? They have been chartering that school a long time.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

This is a "slap in the face" to EMU students who are preparing to become teachers and it is also a much bigger slap in the face to Eastern Alumni who are currently teaching. Next time the Eastern Foundation calls to ask me to donate, I'll remind them that they are working overtime to take money from me on both ends. Establishing charter schools that increase the unfunded liability in my pension fund puts my future at an extreme risk. Thanks a lot Eastern Michigan! For profit charter schools are successful because they pay young recent graduates barely above the minimum wage so the greedy owners can suck more of our tax dollars off the top to line their pockets. Owners of Charter Schools should be required to post online salaries and benefits of their teachers and the amount of their profits. I think every tax payer has the absolute right to know how much of their tax dollars are going into the pockets of all the greedy charter school owners.


Thu, Nov 1, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

Schools are only required to post their union contracts online. If there are no unions at the charter school, they do not need to post their salaries and benefits. There is no requirement to post management fees to the charter operators separately either.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

I believe you can get all that information on line somewhere or by calling the organization itself. I for one like charters even though the hi schools are not advertised. Ours slipped into AAPS thru the 6th grade schools of choice. We don't worry about WR problems and teachers who are only there to collect a paycheck. So glad WR is closing and rehiring better teachers.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

I really don't know if that information is generally made public or not; but I agree with you that it should be. The legislature made a big deal about 'transparency' with public school districts. All sorts of information about financials (including union contracts) must have a link on the main page of the districts' web sites. Since charter schools are public schools, I would hope that they have to follow the same rules. But it wouldn't surprise me if there is a loophole that excludes charters from having to follow suit.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 3:29 a.m.

Way to kick a school district when its' down Eastern Michigan University. Wish my daughter would have stayed at Western myself. Not a EMU fangurl in the least.

Tom Todd

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

why are Charter schools not subject to FOIA requests??

Basic Bob

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 9:51 a.m.

They should be. Did you request information?


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 1:09 a.m.

Well, I guess that if EMU pushes Cahter Schools, then they have a place to put their Ed Students who can't find jobs. Also, maybe they should focus closer to home... Graduation and Retention Rates: Eastern Michigan University First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 76% 4-Year Graduation Rate: 13% 6-Year Graduation Rate: 40% Data Source: National Center for Educational Statistics Maybe what we need is a charter university to compete with a failing university...I'm sure we could get better Prof's for less money, and they'd work for less benefits and no retirement...


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

Most children by grade 11 have a choice of either going to EMU and taking college course work or staying with the hi school. This does happen in Great Britain. Same concept, hi school, college or trade work. I like the idea EMU has on offering this.

Basic Bob

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 9:50 a.m.

So, Ben, I'm quite confused on how you would fix this "problem" at EMU. 1. Raise admission requirements so only well qualified students get the college experience. The rest can go straight to the food service and retail industries. 2. Require all students to attend on a full time basis so they can finish the program on schedule. 3. Hand out diplomas to anyone who sticks around for four years and promises to wait until jobs in the teachers union open up.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

This can not be good for Ypsi and Willow Run. When will the State start supporting public education instead of sabotaging it?


Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

Tom, While standardized test scores have their flaws, the MEAP scores for charter schools are higher on average than the counterpart school district public school. Charter schools ARE public schools in that they are FREE. They are just no part of the community district governed by the school board which may or may not be failing.

tom swift jr.

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

Angry Moderate: "Surely the public will get a better education by going to these new schools rather than being forced into the failures known as Ypsi and Willow Run." Could you show me the data that suggests that the quality of education is better in a charter school, or are you just blowing wind with that statement?

Angry Moderate

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

How is opening 3 new public schools not "supporting public education"? Surely the public will get a better education by going to these new schools rather than being forced into the failures known as Ypsi and Willow Run.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

Are these 3 schools self-managed or are they to be run by private companies? I do not see that in this article, on EMU's PR article on their site, or the EMU Charter webpage.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

None of those three schools will be operated by a large for-profit corporation such as NHA. EMU doesn't like that model any more than you do. As far as I know, Boggs will be entirely independently operated. I think the Public Safety Academy will be as well, and Global Tech will be operated by a smallish management company (; can't tell if they are a profit-seeking model or not.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

...and cue the incessant "charter schools are bad/charter schools are good" arguing volleys...

tom swift jr.

Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

Interesting that you made the first comment calling for that...

Rob Pollard

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

I'm not clear from these stories who will operate the charters - is it EMU or some other entity? I know EMU chartering "authority" but who actually operates it? And how is it done - e.g., with EMU employees? An appointed board? Another company?

Dog Guy

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

As a teacher, I more welcome than fear competition. Nevertheless, wake me when it's time to retire.


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

That is all I hear from the WR teachers. Wake me when it is over. Guess the hi school is going to have a huge reality check in June when they are all laid off and some not rehired.