What is Schools of Choice?

Schools of Choice

The Schools of Choice law, enacted 20 years ago in the state of Michigan, allows parents to enroll their children in public schools outside of their district assignment or to any school building within their district assignment — as opposed to requiring students to attend their neighborhood public school buildings.

What this means is that if you live in one community in the county but work in another (say you live in Schoolcraft but work in Parchment), you may opt to have your child attend school where you work. There are a number of reasons why parents choose to move their children from one district to another — from proximity to employment or day care to wanting a different environment than their district offers (say, more urban vs. rural).

Parents can also choose to have their child attend a different school building within their own district, again for a variety of reasons, from the quality of the school to its proximity to their work.

To utilize Schools of Choice, here are some things to remember:

  • Schools of Choice may be used to enroll in both public and charter schools.
  • In Kalamazoo County, you must be released from your district in order to move your child to a new one. To be released, you must apply for release from your assigned district.
  • The board of a school district may enroll a nonresident student without release, but parents will often have to pay tuition to have their child attend a school in that district.
  • To choose a different school building within your district that is outside of your assigned district mapping, open enroll in the school of your choice at the deadlines determined by the individual school. Start this process early — there are waiting lists at some schools.
  • Students who live outside the Kalamazoo Public School district cannot enroll in KPS through Schools of Choice and be eligible for the Kalamazoo Promise.
  • If you choose to go to another district or to a school building within your district that is outside your assigned district mapping, you will most likely have to provide transportation for your child to and from school.
  • Contact the school district corresponding to your choice or visit its website for information and applications for enrollment or release.

For more information on Schools of Choice in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/mde.

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