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Bay Mills Community of the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians, Michigan

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. Bay Mills Community College can open charter schools anywhere in Michigan if the tribe's compact says the state is its district, Attorney General Jennifer Granholm said Sept. 18. That decision is good news for the tribal college and charter school advocates. Bay Mills, in the Upper Peninsula, chartered schools in Pontiac and Bay City that opened last month. The college came under fire for opening the schools because the state's charter school law prohibits a community college from chartering schools outside its district. But the tribe's 1984 charter for the college says its district is the state of Michigan. Jeff Parker, chairman of the college, said he's pleased with Granholm's decision. It 'recognizes the right of Bay Mills Community College to provide educational opportunities to the Indian and non-Indian students throughout the state of Michigan,'' Parker said in a written statement. While Bay Mills chartered the schools, Ferris State University oversees them and San Rafael, Calif.-based Mosaica Education Inc. manages them. The argument over Bay Mills' charter schools is a major point of contention in the school aid debate for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. Some lawmakers won't sign the budget if Bay Mills' charters stay open, and others won't sign it if the charters close

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