Picking and Choosing Students

Some districts take advantage of the Best Practices Incentive designed to increase Schools of Choice participation,[44] and all Michigan districts have the ability to turn down a prospective Schools of Choice student if he or she has been expelled. State law should protect future abuses of these incentive programs and limit potential discrimination among students by imposing limited Schools of Choice participation requirements.

Districts could be required to open a minimum number of seats up to nonresident students through Schools of Choice, subject to reasonable limitations. A threshold of 5 percent could both provide Schools of Choice students with better public school options while also protecting schools from having to take in more students than they can reasonably serve.

The state could also remove the ability of conventional schools to turn away students who have a history of past suspensions, while allowing schools to retain the ability to turn away students expelled for more serious offenses. This policy impacts more than 27,000 Michigan students. By amending it, the state would help struggling students have access to more educational options.