PRESS RELEASE: National charter schools and school funding expert joins School Finance Research Collaborative

Michigan native Todd Ziebarth is a pioneer in improving state charter school laws across the country

LANSING, Mich. – A national charter schools advocate and school funding research expert has joined the School Finance Research Collaborative, officials announced today.

“I am honored to lend my expertise and experience to the School Finance Research Collaborative,” said Todd Ziebarth, Senior Vice President for State Advocacy and Support for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and an Ann Arbor resident. “The Collaborative’s adequacy study will be the first to truly explore the unique challenges charter schools face in providing a top-notch public school education to all students.”

Ziebarth leads the National Alliance’s work to improve state charter school laws, and has helped numerous states enact laws to ensure high-quality public charter schools. He has authored many national- and state-level research and policy publications related to key charter school issues. He was previously a policy analyst at the Education Commission of the States, and at Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates — the firm that conducted the taxpayer-funded Michigan Education Finance Study, which the new adequacy study plans to build on.

“Todd’s background with charter schools, school finance research and deep roots in Michigan will make him an invaluable member of our diverse group of education and business leaders,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Oakland Schools superintendent and member of the School Finance Research Collaborative. “We are excited to have him on board as we reexamine our approach to school funding so all students, whether they attend traditional or charter public schools, can achieve and succeed.”

The School Finance Research Collaborative is a broad-based group of business leaders and education experts who agree it’s time to re-examine the way Michigan’s schools are funded. The Collaborative is planning to produce a comprehensive school adequacy study using multiple methodologies that will provide policymakers with the best, most complete and most accurate information on the true costs of educating all Michigan public school students.

The Collaborative is bringing together top industry experts to reexamine the state’s approach to funding K-12 schools to ensure all students are fully prepared for college and careers, from the inner cities to the suburbs, to rural areas and the U.P.


For media inquiries, contact Christopher Behnan, Byrum & Fisk Communications, at (517) 333-1606, ext. 1

Time for a fresh look at how we fund our public schools

The School Finance Research Collaborative, a broad-based, bipartisan group of business and education experts from metro Detroit to the U.P., applauds Grand Rapids philanthropist Jim Brooks and other business leaders for proposing ways to prepare Michigan students for the competitive 21st century workforce.

In a recent edition of Bridge, Brooks makes the case that we must help prepare all Michigan public school students for college and careers.

We agree, but that process must begin with a comprehensive look at how we fund our public schools so all students can achieve and succeed, no matter their challenges or circumstances.

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