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Does school of choice harm school districts?

• Nov 13, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Are school districts exaggerating the harm to them by losing students to school of choice?

Yes, says Ben DeGrow of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

“Both the hard data and the opinions of parents highlight the benefits for Michigan students who exercise educational choice,” he wrote. “But critics often say that when families leave a district, the result, especially in urban districts serving a predominantly minority population, is financial harm that adversely affects others. That harm, they say, is a reason to rein in choice and change how schools are funded.

“A closer look at the numbers, however, strongly suggests that the fears about the fiscal impacts of choice are overblown,” says DeGrow, director of education policy for the center.

Although it may be difficult for school districts to adapt to smaller budgets in the short term, he wrote, having fewer students will generally result in lower expenses.


DeGrow concludes that perhaps state officials should help Michigan’s school districts find more freedom and flexibility to compete rather than try to make it more difficult for families to find “greener pastures.”

Read the complete blog post: “School Districts Exaggerate the Harms of Losing Students to Choice.”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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