Students seen as just numbers for Ypsilanti Schools

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A Ypsilanti Community Schools trustee is lobbying Ann Arbor Public Schools in hopes that they will vote down a proposal to bus out-of-district students and reconsider their schools-of-choice policy, which gives parents outside the AAPS district the ability to send their children there.

MLive has the story:

mariasheler-edwards_20150827_093707_7_copy.jpgThe AAPS board of education in June proposed a policy change to allow in-district transfer students and schools-of-choice students from outside the district to ride buses as space allows. Students would have to board the buses at an established stop. 

...

YCS trustee Maria Sheler-Edwards attended the AAPS meeting Wednesday [July 13th] to urge trustees to vote against the policy change. She says the move would encourage even more students to leave Ypsilanti schools for Ann Arbor, putting YCS in an increasingly difficult financial position.

Let's get this straight.

Sheler-Edwards would prefer to force parents to stay in-district and limit the educational options available for their children instead of finding ways to keep the YCS district solvent and providing value to students.

If parents are enrolling their children in other public schools, Sheler-Edwards should be asking why and addressing those issues. She shouldn't be lobbying a neighboring district to kick out-of-district students out just so she can balance budgets. 

Treating children as numbers and forcing families to go to in-district schools might be good for budgets, but it certainly isn't good for families or education.

The solution certainly isn't to disempower parents.

Sheler-Edwards blames the "competitive environment" for the financial woes and shrinking enrollment of the district.

"I ask you to think more broadly. Please understand that we are all in this together," Sheler-Edwards said. "I ask you to please vote no on the policy on busing our kids and please reconsider your schools-of-choice policy so that our families can make the choice [to attend YCS]. We have a lot to offer."

But competition isn't the problem – treating parents as captives of their ZIP code is. In the case of parents in the YCS district, the choice to attend is a false one especially when it is being restricted by their own trustees.


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