Board approves Schools of Choice plan for in-county residents

From AAPSNews Service

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education has approved a limited Schools of Choice policy that would allow families from throughout Washtenaw County to enroll here.

Enrollment will be limited to 60 kindergarten and 60 first grade seats at selected elementary schools and 50 sixth-grade seats in any of the district’s middle schools. The board approved the measure at a second reading on March 24.

Applications for the Schools of Choice seats will be accepted from April 1 to May 4  and must be postmarked during that time period. Applicants will be notified of their status by May 15 via U.S. mail. Student acceptance is conditional until the district receives and reviews all school records, according to application information.

If the number of qualified non-resident applications eligible for acceptance exceeds the number of seats available, a random draw system will be used to make a selection. A waiting list will be maintained for the remaining applications and prioritized through random draw.

The addition of 170 out-of-district students would bring new revenue to the district, as state funding to local districts is based on per-pupil head counts. Per-pupil money normally given to a  student’s district of residence would be paid to Ann Arbor under the Schools of Choice provision.

For budget projection purposes, and because this is the district’s first time working with the program, administrators have conservatively estimated revenue for 150 Schools of Choice students in their budget projections.

Ann Arbor elementary schools that have openings include: Abbot, Bryant, Carpenter, Dicken, Eberwhite, Lakewood, Logan, Northside, Pittsfield and Wines. Middle schools include: Clague, Forsythe, Scarlett, Slauson and Tappan.

Once a student has been accepted, they can stay within the Ann Arbor Public Schools for the remainder of their K-12 education, even if the district decides not to continue to enroll new students through Schools of Choice in the future, school officials said.

Residents of Washtenaw County public school districts are eligible to apply. These include: Chelsea, Dexter, Lincoln, Manchester, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake, Willow Run and Ypsilanti.

Section 105 of the State School Aid Act allows local school districts to enroll students who reside in the same intermediate school district.

For information or to register for Schools of Choice in Ann Arbor, call the Department of Student Enrollment at 734-994-2249.

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