Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: When your landlord is your biggest competitor, things can get tricky for charter schools

Good morning!

Today, our top story is about charter schools, and the risk they face when they lease their buildings from their biggest competitor — a local school district.

It’s a situation playing out pretty prominently in Detroit, where the district opted against renewing the leases for four charter schools that had been renting from the district since the days of emergency management.

But Koby’s story also shows that this battle is happening elsewhere in the country, in cities such as Phoenix and Oklahoma City. A national charter school expert weighs in, saying charters in such relationships need to have backup plans.

In other education news, check out my first How I Teach feature on Marla Williams, a Detroit special education teacher who goes to extreme lengths to connect with her students — including attending their birthday parties, baptisms, and other events. You may remember her from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address, where she was described as a tireless advocate for her students.

And check out the big news happening in my hometown, where a University of Michigan graduate has become the first black woman and the first openly gay person to become mayor. I’ve been following the coverage from our colleagues at Chalkbeat Chicago, and I’m curious to see what big changes the new mayor will bring to the schools I grew up attending.

Scroll down for more education headlines. And have a great Thursday!

Lori Higgins, senior reporter


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


WHO’S YOUR LANDLORD? Things get complicated when a charter school’s landlord is its main competition. Chalkbeat

CHANGING LIVES The latest in our How I Teach feature is a Detroit special education teacher who got  a big shoutout from MIchigan’s governor earlier this year. Chalkbeat

HISTORY IN CHICAGO Chicago’s new mayor made history as the first black woman and the first openly gay person to be elected. She’s a University of Michigan graduate and has big plans for education in the city. Chalkbeat Detroit News Detroit Free Press

LGBTQ DIVIDE Parents in this west Michigan school district have been fighting for more than a year over sex education curriculum and any mention of sexual or gender identities. Michigan Radio

APPLICATION UPROAR A suburban school is changing its enrollment application after criticism that some of the questions on the application are unconstitutional. Detroit News

RACIAL SLUR A teacher on the west side of the state is under investigation after being accused of using a racial slur while talking to students. Michigan Radio

SCHOOL PLANS A Jesuit high school in Detroit is buying a vacant recreation center and planning to use it for school and community activities. Detroit News Detroit Free Press

CHARTER FINALISTS Finalists have been named for Michigan’s charter school teacher and administrator of the year honors. MAPSA

INNOVATIVE EDUCATORS If you’re a Michigan educator and you help prepare students for 21st Century skills, state officials want to hear from you. MDE

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Students at a Detroit private school make postcards that help them make connections around the world. Detroit News

JUST DO IT A Michigan school administrator pens an opinion piece in which he urges lawmakers to do something about the state’s funding system. School News Network

BOOK SALE Teachers are poised to pounce as Bookstock opens. Detroit News