It’s been about two decades since Michigan adopted Schools of Choice. The program is one of several responses to funding and quality issues. See how Schools of Choice decisions are made in Ingham County, and how choices over 20 years have affected the county’s 12 public school districts.
The Lansing Community is implementing new ways to promote safety within their school districts. With recent headlines involving mass school shootings and gun violence, students, parents and faculty members would like to see changes within their communities. Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth said Lansing is taking a stand on gun violence to promote a safer community for children. “So one of the things we instituted after the Parkland shooting in Florida is the ‘Sheriff Safer School Initiative’,” said Wriggelsworth. “What that really revolves around is having our deputies carve out an hour or two out of their workweek to spend in a school that they’re assigned.
In the Lansing school district, 75 percent of the student body is made up of minorities, according to the 2017-2018 Racial Census Report from the Michigan Department of Education. On the outside, this diversity has allegedly been the reason for low test scores and low graduation rates. Those who look deeper, however, see the importance of immersing children in a diverse, communal environment at a young age.
East Lansing Public Schools, while currently not the most diverse school district, is making efforts to change for the better. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics’ Census data from 2000, the city of East Lansing has 5,398 residents under the age of 18. A whopping 3,806 of these children are white. Students and parents alike are taking notice to this fact. East Lansing High School sophomore and student of color, Megan Pemba, commented on her view of the level of diversity.
What seems like an increase in school violence attacks may not be the case due to the media but that still hasn’t stopped schools in Mason from protecting the students. While Mason has had a few instances where precautionary measures were needed to be taken, the six schools have never had to deal with anything serious like what happened in Florida, said Superintendent of Mason Public Schools Ronald Drzewicki. Parents are always going to show concern for their children, especially at school when there are so many other students. With the schools protected, the staff is talking with the students on what to do in any situation instead of spending more money for protection. Mason Police Officer Jeremiah Budd, the school’s contact officer said, “It would be a long process to redue the security …
The annual Lansing School District Showcase took place at the Don Johnson Fieldhouse on Feb. 11. This event provided an opportunity for the community to experience what students are learning within the classroom and see what changes the Lansing Pathway Promise has made in the district. The Lansing Pathway Promise is a $120 million school millage that was approved by voters in May 2016, according to the Lansing State Journal. This allowed the district to be redefined into three “paths” students could take to become successful in cutting-edge skills for college and future jobs.
Mason schools had similar numbers of students move into and out of the district. Three families’ decisions show the wide range of dynamics beneath what occur in a district that, on the surface, appears to be pretty stable.