By Sheryl Levitt
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter
According to the Lansing School District’s enrollment report, 1,917 students from Lansing are attending local charter schools.
It’s a number that seems to keep growing, at the expense of Lansing’s public school enrollment.
Enrollment in the Lansing School District is continually declining. Over the last five years, enrollment numbers have decreased from 13,399 to 11,695 students. This means the district has experienced a total loss of 1,704 students.
In contrast, enrollment in local charter schools has seen an increase. Lansing Charter Academy, Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy (MMLA), Shabazz Public School Academy, Cole Academy, and Windemere Park Charter Academy have experienced a combined increase of 2,363 students. Enrollment in Lansing Charter Academy has seen the most growth, increasing by 6.19 percent in the last year alone.
More often than not, local charter school students are residents of the City of Lansing. According to this year’s enrollment data, 100 percent of Shabazz Academy and Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy’s students are Lansing residents, while 93.3 percent of Lansing Charter Academy and Cole Academy’s students are Lansing residents.
Lansing resident Rachelle Moreno is one of the many parents who chose to send her child to a local charter school, Lansing Charter Academy, instead of a school in the Lansing School District.
“Our intention was to send him to Lansing Charter just for the Young Fives program and then enroll him in Lansing schools for kindergarten, but we loved LCA so much that we decided to keep him there,” Moreno explained.
Her initial reasons for choosing Lansing Charter Academy for her son were the lack of tuition fees, convenient location, and a full-day Young Fives program.
According to an enrollment report released by the Lansing School District, the Ingham Intermediate School District, which includes Lansing, Dansville, East Lansing, Haslett, Holt, Leslie, Mason, Okemos, Stockbridge, Waverly, Webberville, and Williamston schools, has remained fairly steady over the last five years. This shows that although the Lansing School District is losing students, they are not necessarily leaving the area, they are attending other local schools.