Schools of Choice program offers flexibility in education

Schools of Choice program offers flexibility in education

MARQUETTE — Governor Rick Snyder recently declared this week Michigan School Choice Week.

Kindergarten through twelfth grade students and school districts have had the option to participate in the Schools of Choice program since 1996. The program allows families to choose which district their children attend based on factors such as programs offered by each school.

“The other piece is the socialization piece,” said Debra Asano, Associate Superintendent for Teaching, Learning, and Technology Services at the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency. “There may be a network of people that the student gets along with quite well through some other source — maybe a church, another group — and that might be a factor, as well as maybe both parents live in one district, and that would be the child’s school district of residence, but they work in another one, and it’s much more convenient for them to be there.”

For districts under Marquette-Alger RESA, there haven’t been major changes in the number of students taking advantage of the School of Choice program.

“We’re seeing pretty consistent numbers across a three year spread as I’ve looked at some of the data from our pupil accounting office,” Asano added. “No one has had tremendous spikes in incoming students or tremendous dips and losses.”

The time frame for students to enroll in a different school for this semester has passed, but those interested in switching next year can contact the Marquette-Alger RESA office or the districts they are exploring to find out more details.