Contents of this issue:


  • Enrollment ups and downs
  • Early numbers show DPS at 88,000 students
  • Go to school, win a car
  • Former Holly teacher arraigned

ENROLLMENT DOWN, CHARTERS AND CHOICE UP


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, while 11 others 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


DETROIT STUDENT COUNT DOWN BY 16,000


DETROIT - Preliminary figures show that approximately 88,000 students were enrolled in Detroit Public Schools as of Wednesday, a drop of about 16,000 from last fall, according to The Detroit News. Though the final count could change, any total lower than 100,000 will result in the district losing "first- class" status, which in turn could allow more charter public schools to begin operating within the district.

The district anticipated enrolling about 98,000 students; the lower number would mean a reduction of about $52.6 million in state aid, The News reported.

Already under financial scrutiny by the state, Detroit plans to make $522 million in budget cuts over the next two years to eliminate a deficit, according to The News.

SOURCE:
The Detroit News, "DPS sees record drop in students," Sept. 26, 2008

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "Colleges: 'Wait and see' on Detroit Charter Schools," April 7, 2008


GO TO SCHOOL, WIN A CAR


DETROIT - Parents whose children showed up for classes at Westwood Community Schools on the state's official student count day were eligible to win a Saturn Vue, according to the Detroit Free Press.

While other schools weren't offering new cars, a number offered different incentives, among them ice cream, bus service and new educational programs, the Free Press reported.

Sept. 24 was the day on which Michigan districts counted the number of students enrolled. Schools receive per-pupil funding of about $7,300 from the state. The number of students in Michigan dropped by almost 31,000 in 2007, according to the Free Press.

Enrollment at Inkster Public Schools, however, increased by 700 students, the Free Press reported. School officials credited the increase to advertisements about new educational programs. The article also noted that some public charter schools now offer bus service, including one academy that organized 14 bus stops in Detroit to transport students who otherwise would be assigned to Detroit Public Schools.

SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Get your kid in school today, win a car," Sept. 23, 2008

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Michigan School Money Primer," May 30, 2007


FORMER HOLLY TEACHER ARRAIGNED


HOLLY, Mich. - A former Holly High School teacher charged with five counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree was arraigned Sept. 23, according to The Flint Journal.

Ranee Sue Proper, 41, who worked for Holly schools from 2004 until her resignation in June, is accused of having sex with two students, The Journal reported. She was placed on administrative leave May 15 and instructed by the district not to have any contact with students or parents.

"We had allegations of inappropriate conduct and those allegations we were investigating. Upon her resignation on June 25, our involvement ceased," Superintendent Kent Barnes was quoted in the article.

A preliminary examination is set for Oct. 24. Proper's attorney could not be reached for comment, the article said.

SOURCE:
The Flint Journal, "Former Holly teacher Ranee Proper accused of having sex with students," Sept. 23, 2008

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "Zeeland pays teacher to leave," Sept. 2, 2008


MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (http://www.educationreport.org), an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (http://www.mackinac.org), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

Contact Managing Editor Lorie Shane at
mailto:med@educationreport.org

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