TCAPS superintendent doesn't see enrollment growing anytime soon

Dec 7, 2015

TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma speaks at a meeting at Interlochen Community School on October 29.

School districts in northern Michigan face declining enrollment and tough financial decisions.

"When you lose ten percent of your population in a ten year time frame, something has to give," says Paul Soma, superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

Enrollment in the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District has declined about ten percent in ten years.

TCAPS is on the brink of closing up to three elementary schools: Interlochen Community School, International School at Bertha Vos, and Old Mission Peninsula School.

The superintendent is not optimistic about future projections of enrollment, even though some say the number of kids will grow.

"People say that our region ultimately will turn a page here," Soma says. "I don't see it in the short term, near term or even mid term for that to happen."

Soma says he expects to make a recommendation to the district's board on whether to close the schools next month.

Listen to a full-length interview with Soma below. He addresses funding issues at the regional level, and whether Governor Snyder's plan to save Detroit Public Schools will cost TCAPS money.