Parents React to GRPS Falling Enrollment

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 04, 2013
GRPS Approves Modified Transformation Plan

FOX 17 File Photo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Bad news for Grand Rapids Public Schools as the district is set to lose 700 students by fall.  That loss is expected to cost the district nearly $5 million.  It’s part of a trend that started a decade ago and one that’s cost GRPS about $8,000 throughout the past 10 years.   

The declining enrollment led to closure of several buildings along with consolidation and teachers cut.

FOX 17 spoke with parents at Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy.  India Horton tells us, “All my friends kids go to charter schools.”  That seems to be the trend for parents with children in Grand Rapids Public Schools. 

Nicole Wells says she’s looking into other options, “Just to go to a better school.  Me and her dad sat back and talk about it, private schools, Christian schools… the learning, academics and to see if they have smaller classes.”

The district says charter schools could be where the projected 700 students leaving GRPS are going.

Courtney Moose says, “The schools are closing, you know, it’s so important, our kids education and it’s so sad that it’s just being taken away.  We’re losing teachers, that’s a huge part of their future and our future.”

GRPS says 60 to 70 employees will be cut including some teachers.  Moose says she’s worried it’s a vicious cycle, “If more people go there then there’s less money here.”  She fears this will hurt her kids education saying, “I am trying to find different options and a charter school is one.  More one on one and just the curriculum.  That is one of the benefits of a charter school, is that he wouldn’t be behind; he would still continue to be able to be challenged.”