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UN/DIVIDED: The growing pains of annexation in Albion and Marshall

In 2016, Albion residents voted to annex their struggling public schools to Marshall. Students in Albion used to attend an almost entirely low-income, majority African-American district. Now, middle and high school students get bussed into Marshall, a town that is white-majority and middle-class.

But how are Albion students adjusting, and what lead to Albion Public Schools' demise in the first place? Can Marshall overcome the difficulties of teaching at-risk students?

Michigan Radio is taking a look at the impact the annexation has had on students, families, and the community.

April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

In May of 2016, residents of Albion voted to have their school district annexed by neighboring Marshall.

This week, Michigan Radio examined the impact the annexation has had on students, families, and the community in the three-part series, UN/DIVIDED.

In case you missed it, check out a summary of the series here:

Courtesy of Sheryl Mitchell

On the first day of school, more than 100 men lined up outside of Harrington Elementary in Albion, Michigan.

They were all dressed to the nines. Most had on dress shirts and ties, some were wearing three-piece suits, and a few veterans were dressed up in their military garb.

In Albion, school choice led to school closures

Dec 5, 2017
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

In May of last year, residents of Albion stepped into the voting booth. 

On their ballots, they saw this question:

"Shall Albion Public Schools be annexed to Marshall Public Schools to be effective July 1, 2016?"

Wanda Kemp and her son, Zy’Airh, a third grader at Harrington Elementary School.
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

The past few years have brought change after change for students in Albion, Michigan.