More school choice in Utica

UTICA, Mich. - Expanding its school-of-choice program, Utica Community Schools will open all of its 40 buildings to students from nearby districts this fall, according to The Macomb Daily.

The district school board approved a plan to enroll any K-12 student who is assigned to another district but wants to attend Utica, as long as space is available, the Daily reported. Students from other districts must provide their own transportation.

The plan is a way to address projected declining enrollment, which would mean decreased state per-pupil aid, according to the Daily. Now at 30,000 students, Utica is Michigan's second-largest conventional public school district.

"We see this as an opportunity for our school district as well as the students we enroll," said Christine Johns, Utica superintendent, according to the Daily. Utica has allowed school-of-choice enrollment on a limited basis in the past, this year totaling 702 students.

The Macomb Daily, "Utica schools expands choice program," Feb. 13, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Limited Educational Choice," in "The Case for Choice in Schooling," Jan. 29, 2001