Michigan’s school funding system ‘fundamentally broken,’ say backers of new education finance study

A new education finance study will provide a clearer picture of what it costs to educate Michigan’s K-12 students, data that will prove useful as policymakers seek to boost academic achievement statewide, supporters of the study say.

The study was commissioned by the School Finance Research Collaborative, a group that consists of education experts and business leaders, and is expected to be released in January.

In an interview with MLive.com, three supporters of the collaborative spoke about the need for the study and why they believe Michigan’s current school funding formula is “fundamentally broken.”

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Time to stand up for all Michigan students

It is high time for Michigan to hit the refresh button on how it funds its public schools so all students, regardless of their zip code, household income, learning challenges or other circumstances are fully prepared for the competitive 21st century workforce.

As vice president of the Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education, I help oversee the highest end of Michigan’s school funding spectrum at $11,984 per student. The lowest-funded districts receive $7,511 per student.

So why, when my district has nothing to gain by a new school funding approach, am I concerned? The answer is simple: All of our kids, Michigan’s comeback and its long-term economic prosperity all depend on providing a high-quality public school education for all students.

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