Central Michigan University on Monday made Gov. John Engler's name synonymous with the charter school movement he helped start as governor in the 1990s.
During a Monday morning ceremony attended by 200 people, CMU dedicated its Center for Charter Schools in Engler's honor. It's the first government facility renamed after Michigan's 46th governor, who left office in 2002.
The Governor John Engler Center for Charter Schools, within CMU's College of Education and Human Services building on its Mount Pleasant campus, supports the university's 56 authorized charter schools statewide serving 30,000 students.
Engler signed the 1994 measure making charter schools legal public schools, funded by tax dollars but separate from traditional school districts. Monday's festivities reflected on the legal, political and social struggles Engler and charter school proponents have endured. The event also highlighted a new law that will allow unlimited charter schools in Michigan after 2015.