Some GRPS families say they'll transfer to Rockford if their school closes.
ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) - The possibility of closing Creston High School and nine other schools wasn't met with just anger by parents and students Thursday night; there were also threats of leaving the district.
"Because there isn't a north end school, most of their friends that are going to go to high school aren't going to GRPS anymore," said Shelley Terrell, a mother of six children.
"A lot of our students are going to exit and go to Rockford or Northview," said Dan Ebright, Creston track and cross country coach.
But the superintendents of Rockford, Northview, and nearby Comstock Park school districts say they won't necessarily have any spots open for transfer students next fall, when Creston is proposed to close.
Northview Schools Superintendent Mike Paskewicz says his district actually decreased its number of school choice seats by 20 this academic year. That's what parents have to remember: administrators also get a say in school choice.
"Our number one priority is going to be students who live and attend school here in Rockford," said Superintendent Mike Shibler.
The districts make their decisions based on projected growth and student population. The superintendents say they've all taken in Grand Rapids Public School students before.
Comstock Park Superintendent Ethan Ebenstein says he has high turnover because 36% of families rent and often leave the area. However, times have changed in Northview and Rockford.
"We have more students coming in here who live in Rockford," said Shibler.
Shibler says his message to Grand Rapids parents is not to blame the district for the situation, but the state, which continues to cut education funding.
"They need to focus their anxiety, their frustrations, their angers on what is happening in Lansing, and talk to their state legislators, talk to their governor," said Shibler.
Shibler, Ebenstein, and Paskewicz all say they support Grand Rapids Public Schools. GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt asks parents to do so as well, so enrollment doesn't decline any further to the point they would have to make more cuts.
"We're saying, look at all these other quality school choices-- City High, these high school options, Centers of Innovation, to UPrep, to Montessori, to Ottawa and Union," Helmholdt said.
Helmholdt encourages parents to call the district with any questions about the new Transformation Plan for Quality, Choice, and Sustainability.
Click here for a list of times and locations of future community meetings: GRPS Community Meetings