Under the state’s Schools-of-Choice law, districts can elect not to enroll nonresident students, even if they do enroll tuition-paying nonresident students.[*] For students attending a low-ranked school, a better public alternative may be nearby.
To provide better options to students attending low-ranked schools, the state should require districts to take in those students under SOC, within the parameters of realistic enrollment limitations. The Legislature could consider whether districts would be able to accommodate taking in a number of nonresident students equal to 5 percent of their enrollment.
[*] Birmingham Public Schools is an example of such a district. Audrey Spalding, "Birmingham Latest District to Exploit Schools of Choice," (Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Jan. 17, 2013), http://goo.gl/zSQAqU (accessed Sept. 17, 2013).