Schools of choice has led to improved opportunities

JACKSON, Mich. — A study of state data by The Jackson Citizen Patriot has found the 15-year-old Schools of Choice law has led to a large migration of students across school district boundaries in Jackson County. According to The Citizen Patriot, about 3,000 students assigned to Jackson Public Schools this year are attending another district in the county or a charter public school. About 30 percent of the students enrolled in the Western School District are from other districts.

“I like Schools of Choice within the county,” Jackson Superintendent Dan Evans told The Citizen Patriot. “I think it’s been a healthy competition.”

According to the Citizen Patriot, Evans credits the increased competition with making Jackson Public Schools more responsive to parents’ desires, including themed magnet schools like the focus on fine arts at Cascade Elementary and the International Baccalaureate school at Sharp Park Academy.

“I believe that choice has helped us drive that forward,” Evans told The Citizen Patriot. “I think I’d still be pushing for that (without out-of-district Schools of Choice), but it would be slower.”


The Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Schools of Choice law has led to massive movement across school district lines,” Dec. 19, 2011


Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Time To Take School Choice in Michigan to the Next Level,” Aug. 8, 2011