In Southeastern Michigan there are 17 school districts with 50 percent or more of the households being run by a single parent. This is an important statistic as it can relate to the financial well-being of a family, which often correlates with a child’s access to quality education and educational and extra curricular opportunities. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2017, 32 percent of parents were unmarried. Of the 110 public school districts in Southeastern Michigan 44 have 32 percent or more of households with a single parent.
The district with the highest percentage of single parents is the Highland Park School District where 83 percent of households with school-aged children have a single parent. Highland Park School District also has the lowest median income for single mothers at $15,224, and, while the two are not mutually exclusive, it does provide insight into the economic and family backgrounds of many of the students in the district. The district with the second highest percentage of single parents is the Ecorse Public School District at 74 percent; the median income for single mothers in that district is $16,108. Following the same pattern, Detroit Public Schools has the third highest percentage of single parents at 71 percent.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Garden City School District in Wayne County has the lowest percentage of households with a single parent at 8 percent. The next two districts with the lowest percentage of single parents were Milan and Saline public schools, both in Washtenaw County, at 10 percent. In Oakland County, Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham school districts have the highest median income for single mothers at just under $83,000, and the percentage of single parents in these districts is 16 percent for both.
As we’ve noted throughout this series, family income does often have an affect on the type of education a child receives, and this post highlights that while tying in how family background may also have an affect.