School choice in Michigan

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School choice refers to the educational alternatives available to parents who do not wish to send their children to the local district public school to which they are assigned. Public school choice options include open enrollment policies, magnet schools and charter schools. Other options include traditional school vouchers, scholarship tax credits, personal tax credits and deductions and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which allow parents to receive public funds directly for educational expenses.[1][2]

School choice options in Michigan include: charter schools, inter-district and intra-district open enrollment policies and online learning programs. In addition, about 8.05 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.

Educational choice options

See also: Number of schools by school type in the U.S.

Charter schools

According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, there were 276 charter schools operating in Michigan in the 2012-13 academic year. During that time, charter schools enrolled 129,205 students.[3][4]

Charter school authorizers are, according to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), the organizations "designated to approve, monitor, renew, and, if necessary, close charter schools." As of June 2014, the following organizations were listed by NACSA as charter school authorizers in Michigan:[5]

School vouchers and tax credits

Michigan provides neither school vouchers nor school choice tax credits.[6]

Online learning

According to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online and Blended Learning, Michigan has the following online learning programs:[7]

  • Seven online charter schools
  • At least seven blended learning schools
  • The state-sponsored Michigan Virtual School, which had 20,812 course enrollments in the 2012-13 academic year
  • GenNET, a program operated by the Genesee Independent School District with more than 400 participating districts, had more than 22,749 course enrollments in the 2012-13 academic year
  • Single-district online learning programs

The Michigan State Legislature passed Public Act 205 in 2009, which provided for the formation of full-time online schools. The law was also the first in the United States to mandate that students have an "online learning experience" prior to graduating.[7]

Private schools

In the 2011-12 school year, 123,417 students, or 8.05 percent of school age children, were enrolled in 727 private schools. Michigan ranks 33rd highest in the nation in private school attendance.[8]

Public school open enrollment

According to the Education Commission of the States, Michigan has three open enrollment policies:[9]

  1. Intra-district/mandatory policy, which "allows students in low-performing schools, as designated by the state, to attend a different school within their district"
  2. Inter-district/voluntary policy
  3. Inter-district/voluntary policy, which "allows a district to determine whether or not it will accept applications for enrollment by nonresident applicants residing within the same intermediate district for the next school year"

Intra-district policies provide for the transfer of students within a school district, while inter-district policies allow students to transfer between districts. Under mandatory open enrollment policies, school districts are required to participate. Under voluntary policies, school districts may choose whether to participate.[9]


In Michigan in 2012-2013 an estimated 45,113 students, or 2.67 percent of the total student-aged population, were homeschooled.[10]

A summary of the state's laws relating to homeschooling can be accessed here.

School choice ballot measures

See also: School choice on the ballot and List of Michigan ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked no statewide ballot measures relating to school choice in Michigan.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Michigan + Education + Choice"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Michigan School Choice News Feed

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See also

External links