Use of Schools of Choice tends to happen more frequently at both ends of the grade spectrum than it does in the middle.[*] High school students and kindergarten students use Schools of Choice more frequently than students in other grades. This makes some intuitive sense, since in both cases, parents are likely selecting a brand new school for their child. However, of high school students, 11th and 12th graders enroll in districts through Schools of Choice more than ninth or 10th graders. It is difficult to determine why students might switch districts when they are on the verge of graduating, but perhaps some use Schools of Choice to access different or better opportunities they believe will benefit them after they graduate.

As is shown in Graphic 3, more than 7 percent of Michigan kindergartners and high school students attending conventional schools used Schools of Choice in the 2011-12 school year. In absolute numbers, 12th graders used Schools of Choice the most, with 9,466 high school seniors using the program. More than 8,000 kindergarten students used Schools of Choice during 2011-12 — more than the number of students using Schools of Choice in any elementary or middle school grades.

Graphic 3: Students Enrolled Through Schools of Choice by Grade, 2011-12

Graphic 3: Students Enrolled Through Schools of Choice by Grade, 2011-12 - click to enlarge

Source: Center for Educational Performance and Information.

Graphic 4 shows grade-level Schools of Choice participation, comparing students using 105 Choice to those using 105c Choice. The overall trends previously identified hold for both 105 Choice and 105c Choice: Kindergartners and high school students tend to use Schools of Choice more than students in other grades. This statistic is somewhat more pronounced though when just considering 105c Choice enrollment. For instance, the number of ninth-graders using Section 105c Choice is nearly 45 percent larger than the number of eighth-graders using it.

Graphic 4: 105 Choice and 105c Choice by Grade Level, 2011-12

Graphic 4: 105 Choice and 105c Choice by Grade Level, 2011-12 - click to enlarge

Source: Center for Educational Performance and Information.


[*]  Grade-level Schools of Choice enrollment information was provided by CEPI, and paired with CEPI Fall 2011 student headcount data. District codes were matched with NCES data to identify charter schools. The “total conventional enrollment” tallies do not include charter school or ISD enrollment.