What we found:
Declining student enrollment continues to create financial challenges for many Michigan school districts. A shrinking school-age population and increased participation in school choice options mean fewer students and financial resources to provide educational services.
To counter these effects, an increasing number of districts are tapping into nonconventional public school student populations to boost enrollments and budgets. They are enrolling, on a part-time basis, homeschool and nonpublic school students through shared-time arrangements and increasing the offering of two-year kindergarten programs.
Collectively, school districts collected nearly $260 million from the School Aid Fund in the 2018-19 school year by enrolling these nonconventional public school students.