Skillman Foundation awards $50,000 grant toward effort to reexamine school funding

DETROIT, Mich. — The Skillman Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the School Finance Research Project, an effort to help determine the true cost of educating a student in Michigan, regardless of income, location or other circumstances. The project is an initiative of the School Finance Research Collaborative, a statewide, bipartisan and diverse group of business leaders and education experts who agree it’s time to reexamine how we fund Michigan’s public schools.

“Michigan used to be a national leader in education. Now we’re at the bottom,” said Tonya Allen, President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation and a Collaborative member. “Reexamining how our state’s public schools are funded is crucial to ensuring that our children are prepared to succeed and lead. There is no greater investment we could make for our state, and for our nation, than to develop a smart and innovative citizenry.”

The Skillman Foundation grant will support the Collaborative’s school adequacy study, now underway, which will help determine the cost of providing a quality education to all Michigan public school students. Adequacy studies often include geographic cost differences, labor cost differences, and analysis of geographic isolation, among other factors.

The School Finance Research Collaborative’s study, expected in early 2018, is being conducted by the nation’s top two school finance research firms, and will provide policymakers with the best, most complete and most accurate information on the true cost of educating all Michigan students. The new study is utilizing multiple methodologies to reexamine how Michigan’s schools are funded.

Michigan joins more than 30 other states that have conducted comprehensive adequacy studies over the past 15 years, many conducting multiple studies.

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