Terrie MacNicol has a tenth grader at Leslie high school, who's at risk of dropping out.
"He just became more and more defiant, he was labeled within the school as being behavioral, because that was what they saw, his acting out," MacNicol said.
That's why Terrie came to Monday's Dropout Prevention Leadership Summit to ensure students like her son don't become one of nearly 21,000 students in the state of Michigan who don't get their high school diploma.
"I would like to see more of a hands- on vocational program that would be available to him, so that he could go into that, work with his hands, and be able to really see a relevancy," MacNicol said.
Terrie's concerns are what's driving educators to enforce the importance of relevance in the school curriculum and relationships in the classroom to combat the problems in local districts.
"We need relationships, we don't have a caring adult person that really cares about whether or not they're going to graduate," said Jack Kresnak of the Voices of Michigan's Children.
Gov. Granholm says the $15 million in the 21st century school fund to create smaller high schools in specific districts will target under -performing districts, but she said declining enrollment across the state will inevitably lead to declining dollars.
"We have a specific pot of money for the districts, where they have seen significant declines in enrollment so that they can manage the reduction in their population," said Gov. Granholm.
"15 or 25 percent, whatever it is dropout rate, it's costing the state of Michigan and estimated $2.5 billion dollars per year," Kresnak said.
That's why educators are adamant on an educational investment.
You can get more information about the Leadership Summit by visiting: midropoutsummit.com