Student loss not always job-related

MONROE, Mich. - It turns out that Monroe Public Schools students are not leaving the district because job-hungry parents are fleeing Michigan, according to the Monroe Evening News. Instead, a study shows that at least half of the students who exited in 2008-2009 still live in the county or the state.

"There was always the assumption that there was a mass exodus of kids. I think it's a little surprising they're still around," said Ken Laub, assistant superintendent of business, the Evening News reported.

Of 852 students who left the district in 2008-2009, 228 went to other districts in the county and 117 students are now enrolled in parochial, charter or home schools, the Evening News reported. An additional 164 students left Michigan. Each student represents about $7,300 in per-pupil funding from the state, though that number will go down this year due to state budget cuts, according to the Evening News.

School board President Bob Yeo said the district should investigate why families are leaving the district, the Evening News reported. He said that closing four school buildings last year might be a factor in the enrollment loss, but that he still thinks restructuring was the right decision, according to the Evening News.

Board Vice President David Vensel pointed out that the numbers include 90 students who dropped out or were expelled, and said he believes more could be done to retain those students.

Monroe Evening News, "Student exodus or just a shift?" Nov. 28, 2009

Michigan Education Digest, "More Flint students in charters," Nov. 15, 2009