Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine: What long drives to school mean for educational equity

Good morning!

The very first story I wrote for Chalkbeat Detroit back in 2016 when we were just a pilot was about school transportation. I told the stories of Detroit parents who spent hours a day, taking multiple buses, to bring their children to schools far from home. They didn’t believe their children could get a quality education in their own neighborhoods so they made extreme sacrifices to access something better.

Now, a new study sheds some light on how many Detroit families are making those choices. Researchers at Michigan State and Seton Hall universities found that just 25 percent of Detroit students attend the school closest to their home. The rest commute, mostly by car — a fact that has all kinds of implications for educational equity in Detroit.

Read on for more on that story. Plus, we have a story about the Milwaukee version of our Moving Costs series about students frequently changing schools. A reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explored how enrollment instability affected a struggling Milwaukee school. She also explains why it’s so difficult to compare the problem from one state to the next. Check it out here — and have a great weekend!

— Erin Einhorn, Bureau Chief

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

COMMUTERS A new study on school transportation in Detroit finds that students leaving their neighborhoods for school are attending slightly higher-quality schools on average than they would if they stayed closer to home, but not all students have the same access to those better schools Chalkbeat

MOVING COSTS Enrollment instability is a major reason why schools across the country are struggling yet no one is keeping track nationally. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that half the states don’t track the issue at all and those that do use so many different measures that comparisons are nearly impossible. Chalkbeat

COMPUTERS The Detroit district is partnering with Quicken Loans to bring an expanded computer science curriculum to all district elementary schools. Crain’s

CHARTER Officials at a Detroit charter school are suing the former city councilwoman who had been running the school to get its property back and to make sure she stays out of the building. The Detroit News

HEALTHY National experts were in Michigan this week for a conference discussing ways to make schools healthier by improving drinking water and repairing crumbling buildings. Michigan Radio