Ann Arbor wants to bring back students

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Better customer service, smaller learning communities or specific teaching techniques all may be reasons parents choose a charter public school over their conventional public school district, a local administrator told an Ann Arbor school board committee recently, according to

Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Bill Miller said that the key to luring back those students is to offer them more choices, reported.

About 1,300 students who live within the Ann Arbor Public Schools boundaries attend a charter school or another conventional school district each year, the report said, effectively taking about $12.3 million in per-pupil state funding with them.

Most of the 1,027 students who chose a charter school over Ann Arbor Public Schools are at the elementary level, Miller said, according to

"I think we should take the phenomenon of charter schools very seriously," school board member Glenn Nelson said, reported. "We need to figure out why students are choosing them."

In general discussion, board members discussed creating schools-within-schools or themed elementary schools as ways to attract students.

SOURCE:, "Ann Arbor school board wants to lure back students from charter schools, other districts," Feb. 11, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "The Great Charter School Debate," Dec. 22, 2009