A lot of this decline is due to increasing numbers of students in private schools, the parochial school subset, and home schooling. The trend is probably happening all over, masked by growth in some areas.
Nope. While charter schools have grown tremendously, enrollment at Powers and other parochial schools is low. Home schooling is a drop in the psycho bucket. The main causes are Flint's tremendous population loss, an aging population, and families fleeing for the suburbs and fleeing the state entirely.
At this rate there will be no schoolchildren in Flint in 2054. Don't snicker. Whether you trace Flint's decline to the mid 80s, late 70s or the late 60s realize that Carthage fell in much less time. Only difference is instead of salting the Earth, Flint's soil is sowed with lead from smokestacks, paint chips, and bullets.
That's really not too surprising. Can you find the corresponding graduation rates for those dates? I bet there is quite a difference as well. Last graduation rate I saw for Northern, RIP Vikings, was abysmal.
2012 Stats: "The district's Northern High School had a 14.86 percent dropout rate and Northwestern High School had a 17.20 percent dropout rate." The county average for dropouts was 6.60 percent. http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2013/02/genesee_county_high_school_dro.html
Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.