Highland Park is one of the poorest cities in Michigan and was recently taken into receivership. One of the ways the town's emergency manager (appointed by the Republican governor) plans to save money is by closing all of their schools and letting charter schools take up the slack.
And charter schools exist outside of this regulatory framework, as far as I know.
ACLU sues on behalf of Highland Park Schools students' 'right to read' | Michigan Radio
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing on behalf of more than 950 Highland Park Public Schools students and their parents, claiming children aren't receiving an adequate reading education.
ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Kary Moss told reporters at a news conference Thursday the lawsuit is about the "right of children to read."
The suit against the state and others seeks class-action status.
In a press release from ACLU of Michigan released today, Moss said,
“This is a first-of-its-kind lawsuit asserting a child’s fundamental right to read. The capacity to learn is deeply rooted in the ability to achieve literacy. A child who cannot read will be disenfranchised in our society and economy for a lifetime. Highland Park students want to be educated. However, their hopes and dreams for a future are being destroyed by an ineffective system that does not adequately prepare them for life beyond school.”
The ACLU says that the Highland Park Schools are violating a 1993 state law that ensures students the right to learn to read at grade level. The law says, excluding those with special needs, students who do not score proficiently on their fourth or seventh grade Michigan educational assessment program (MEAP) reading test shall be provided special assistance reasonably expected to enable the pupil to bring his or her reading skills to grade level within 12 months.
According to the ACLU press release, an independent evaluation of the school district found that many students' reading proficiencies tested between four and eight grades below their current grade level.