Enrollment declines were reported across much of Michigan last week, though some school officials said the lower numbers were not as bad as expected. Charter school enrollment increased in many of the same areas, as did schools-of-choice numbers, according to media reports.

All seven conventional public school districts in Livingston County reported declines, as did 10 of 13 districts in Saginaw County. Reports were mixed in west Michigan, where four of the largest districts, among them Grand Rapids Public Schools, reported lower student numbers, but 11 posted gains. GRPS enrollment likely dropped enough to move it from the state's third- to fourth-largest district, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

Public charter school enrollment increases were reported in Livingston County, the Grand Rapids area and at least one Saginaw County charter school. Two other Saginaw-based charters saw declines. Nearly half the enrollment in Saginaw County's Carrollton Community Schools now consists of schools-of-choice participants, The Saginaw News reported.

SOURCES:
The Livingston Community News, "Enrollment falls in 7 local districts; rises at charters," Sept. 25, 2008

The Grand Rapids Press, "Majority of West Michigan districts report fewer students,"
Sept. 24, 2008

The Saginaw News, "Saginaw County loses 1,250 students as count day tallies reveal 10 of 13 schools drop enrollment," Sept. 25, 2008

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "Charter school enrollment tops 100,000," Dec. 18, 2007

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