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Vote NO on School of Choice

This petition had 325 supporters


The Plymouth-Canton School Board is revisiting the option of School of Choice for the district. The proposal allows for the enrollment of 300 K - 3 students from out-of-district AND their siblings (as space allows) and can be read in its entirety here, beginning on page 8: https://app.eduportal.com/share/7b645a5db270d10f

School of Choice is a slippery slope. The slide has begun...we must stop it NOW.  At last school year's Board Meeting when 200 SOC seats were voted on by the School Board, despite the massive outcry from the Community, Board Members voting Yes (Sheila Paton, Kim Crouch specifically) stated their vote was based on (paraphrasing) "11th hour foundation cuts", this being a "1 year solution to balance the PCCS budget in a time of crisis" and "a necessary measure to not cut interventionists" because "our district had so much under-utilized infrastructure". Today, we have redrawn boundaries , supposedly right-sized the district, and are set to close schools, yet now the District wants to INCREASE the number of SOC spots and relax the acceptance parameters (K-3 grades + siblings opposed to K – 2 only) from last year?  PCCS DOES NOT NEED SOC to operate in the 2015-2016 school year. 

The approval of the new school boundaries has already created a heightened level of tension in our district as kids prepare to switch schools next year. Prior to the redistricting approval, the board took away in-district school choice with the discontinuation of Parent Request Assignments (PRA). This means that parents no longer have the ability to send their children to an in-district school that is different from the student’s home school. Combined with out-of-district school of choice, this means that many PCCS kids will be switching schools and their parents do NOT have the ability to request their child remain in their current school, even if there are open seats in this school.  Instead, the open seats will be filled with out-of-district students, which will also create larger class sizes for our students and teachers.  If 24 kids are enrolled in a class and the maximum allowed in that classroom is 27, there will be three open seats available for School of Choice students. 

Furthermore, the main goal of the creation of the new school boundaries was to "right size" the district.  The 300+ out-of-district students the board is proposing to add might seem like a drop in the bucket for such a large distinct as ours, however, 300+ students is about the size of one of PCCS smaller elementary schools (see page 97 for comparison of elementary school sizes http://app.eduportal.com/share/b158c3409895dfea).  So essentially, we are keeping a small elementary school open to account for out-of-district students.  Clearly the district wasn’t “right-sized." 

The main reason the board wants to add additional students is revenue (more students equates to more dollars), but taking school of choice students from other districts actually reduces the revenue for those other districts.   Just last fall, the board declined a territory transfer for a Northville Township neighborhood currently residing in PCCS because the district did not want to lose the revenue associated with these students by allowing them to attend Northville Schools, yet now the board feels they have a right to students from other districts. The board denied the request citing the reasons contained in this agenda beginning on pg 105 https://app.eduportal.com/share/7400bab5a651a6fc.  The items cited in this document most certainly translates to those students our district would acquire and to the district that would be losing students at our gain.  

At what point do we stop relying on money generated from taking kids from other districts and start finding real solutions to the revenue problem? When do we correct the issues why people are leaving our district, which contributes to our declining enrollment, instead of just trying to find “new” customers? It is very obvious that we are not as competitive as we should be and this must be corrected. School of choice is not the end all answer, but is just a temporary fix to the problems currently being ignored.  

Make your voice heard if you oppose school of choice for PCCS. Sign the petition and join us in telling the school board to vote NO on approving school of choice.  This is not right for our community, our students, and for the surrounding school districts that would be losing students and revenue as a result.

 

Please Join the PCCS Citizens Against School of Choice facebook page to learn more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/623476857782527/



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