Monday, August 3, 2009

Want to go to a school of choice?

Google Search that led someone to my blog:
Can a student be released from [local school district X] and go to a school of choice?

I don't think I've fully answered this question, so here is the short answer: You don't need to be "released," so to speak--there is no requirement that you go to public school in your school district. You could choose a private/parochial school, or a school of choice in a different school district--the requirement is that your child gets an education (and that includes the possibility of home schooling).

Depending on the school district you would like to opt into, you follow their enrollment/application guidelines. They can generally be found on the school district's web site. For instance, Lincoln Schools and Ypsilanti Schools have "schools of choice" buttons on their web site. (Although Ypsilanti's form and information is outdated, I think the procedure hasn't changed). I believe that they will notify your "last school" that you now have a new school. One other thing--typically, if your child has been suspended or expelled in the last two years it will not be so easy to switch them.

Note added 8/6/09: Here are the details from the state's web site.


  1. If a student is trying to transfer into a school outside of the school of choice system (i.e. from Ypsi to Saline), that student would need a release to avoid paying tuition in Saline. Ypsi doesn't give such releases anymore.

  2. Lolita, I don't see anything in the state school code that requires the other school to give a release. I believe that Saline has a "restricted" school of choice plan (which is allowed) and which may mean that only a couple of schools, or grades, are open, and only up to a set number of children. However, it is not up to Ypsilanti to release students. It is up to parents to enroll students, and the enrolling district has some control over that process.

    I added a link above to the explanation of schools of choice on the state web site, but if you want to read all about school law, you can find it here:,1607,7-140-6530_6564_35176---,00.html

  3. Hi,
    You are right that Saline has limited school of choice. However, unlike Ann Arbor, Saline will accept enrolling students from other municipalities in any grade, and no, Ypsilanti doesn't have a role in releasing them to enroll. However, if Ypsilanti does not execute a release for a student to attend Saline, the student won't bring their per pupil monies with them, and Saline will charge the equivalent of what it gets from the State for each pupil. As a policy matter, Ypsi stopped giving out these releases a few years ago.

    Saline has an excellent school system, so it may well be worth it for Ypsi parents to pay at only the half the cost of private schools. However, it is annoying to have to pay for a public school education, especially when Saline is adjacent to Ypsi.

  4. P.S. Here is the link for the nonresident application for Saline Schools which refers to release from the home district.

  5. Thanks Lolita, I have requested information from the Saline and Ypsilanti school districts and we'll see what they say.

  6. A follow-up blog post can be found here: