The phrase "schools of choice" has been buzzing in and out of conversations in the Grosse Pointes frequently ever since Gov. Rick Snyder proposed the idea as one of his educational reforms earlier this year.
Understanding what that means, how it would be implemented and governed and how it would impact is the focus of a public forum Wednesday July 13 being held by State Rep. Tim Bledsoe.
While many in the Grosse Pointes seem to have thoughts about it, many admit they don't understand the details of how it would work.
Bledsoe, school board trustee Brendan Walsh and Michael Van Beek, the director of education policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy will present the details at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at .
The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The discussion will focus heavily on the pros and cons of using such a system that allows out-of-district students to enroll in the Grosse Pointe Public Schools.
In-district students are given priority in enrollment and then the remaining vacancies are filled by out-of-district students. Under the current rules of the program, districts have control over determining their student capacity, allowing more local control over class size.
The topic is of great debate in the Grosse Pointes. School board member Judy Gafa made the topic one of her questions during the superintendent candidate interviews Monday, asking the candidates if it's mandated, how would each of them implement it.
Walsh, who is one of Wednesday's presenters, wrote about it on his website describing it as "a corkscrew pitch to make Willie Hernandez blush." He discusses how the move to a free-market style education will allow motivated students and parents to seek the education they might not be receiving now despite not living in the higher home value suburbs with higher millage rates. He also discusses the attitude of many suburbanites who until now felt the failing Detroit Public School system was not their problem.
The forum will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room of Brownell Middle School.