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Alternative Education


Alternative Education is a program operated as a subdivision of the regular K-12 program. It is designed for students who can be better served in an alternative delivery system. Students served include those who have specific needs and are often at risk of not graduating. Alternative Education programs seek to provide added flexibility and alternative instructional models. These often include expanded services from the traditional setting such as online learning, institutional programs, counseling, childcare, and transportation; in an effort to help students overcome barriers and meet the goals of the Michigan Merit Curriculum. Alternative Education pupils are funded under the K-12 foundation rate.

Alternative Education is a separate, non-traditional program within a K-12 public school district or a public school academy established to provide personalized educational services for students who:

  • are at risk of not graduating with their class; and/or
  • have individual needs not being met in a traditional setting.

MDE Contacts

Alternative Education / Innovative Programs Reduction of Hours and/or Days Waivers

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will start accepting Applications for Waivers on April 1, 2024, for Innovative and Alternative programs.

  • Applications and End-of-Year Reports must be submitted prior to June 14, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.
    • End-of-Year Reports are required for entities that were approved for the Waiver for 2023/24
Innovative Programs

Alternative Education Programs

Additional Resources