Source: Sherman Publications

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District caps SOC for high school

by David Fleet

April 25, 2012

Goodrich-The board voted 6-1 to join the Schools of Choice to include the schools within Genesee County. Trustee Niki Wiederman voted no. Then by a 6-2 vote the board joined the contiguous school districts in Lapeer and Oakland counties. The district will determine the application window and the number of students to be accepted into the district. Trustee Niki Wiederman and Vice-President Linda Jackson voted no.

The district will remain in the state's School of Choice program.

At issue, say school officials, are increasing class sizes in some grades. The vote will now allow the district to close the SOC students for grades seventh-12 and accept SOC students for grades kindergarten-sixth.

In April 2010, the school board voted 4-3 to join the state's Schools of Choice program for the 2010-2011 school year. The board voted out of the Genesee County program. By opting into the state's Schools of Choice program, Goodrich joins other districts in opening up enrollment to students from other districts, which allows an unlimited influx of students from outside the district.

"We are doing this the right way," said Doug Tetmeyer, school board secretary. "The high school is crowded, while there's space in the lower classes."

According to data released by the school district, for the past five years the number of SOC students have grown steadily—from 125 SOC students in the 2007-08 school year to 293 SOC students in the 2011-12 school year. Financially, the SOC program has been a boost to the district's sagging revenues. Based on the current $6,846 per student, the SOC is netting $2,005,878.

"Schools of Choice has been good for us," said John Fazer, district superintendent. "Right now we are 35 students over last year. The key will be if we can make up 70 students. The kindergarten has an enrollment of 120 students while graduates in the high school is at 190 (students)."

"By closing grades seven-12 that is approximately 30 less Schools of Choice students, a potential loss of $200,000," added Fazer.

"And as we discussed, we need to reduce staff cutting $600,000-$700,000. If we receive new students we'll be OK. We can hope the state comes through—in August we'll know more."