Commentary: Pandemic shines light on need for new student-centered school finance model

Every day, Michigan’s public school teachers and support staff are going above and beyond to serve the unique needs of our students and their communities during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Teachers are providing online instruction, support staff are ensuring individual student mental health needs are being met, and our food service workers are making sure no student goes hungry. As school buildings remain closed, educators across Michigan are working harder than ever to help every child succeed under unprecedented circumstances.

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STATEMENT: SFRC reacts to executive order closing school buildings for rest of school year

LANSING, Mich. —  The following is a statement from School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director Robert McCann reacting to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order closing public school buildings for the remainder of the school year during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic:

“The School Finance Research Collaborative supports Gov. Whitmer’s executive order closing public school buildings for the remainder of the school year to protect the health, safety and well-being of all Michigan students, families, teachers and support staff. For schools to be successful in supporting students through this crisis, they will need lawmakers to step up, provide badly needed funding immediately, and fix Michigan’s broken funding formula to ensure schools have the flexibility they need going forward.”

The School Finance Research Collaborative is a diverse group of business leaders and education experts, from Metro Detroit to the U.P., who agree it’s time to change the way Michigan’s schools are funded.

The Collaborative has provided Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost to educate a child in our state. The final report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, students living in poverty, English Language Learners and Career and Technical Education programs.

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