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.

###

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

STATEMENT: School funding group reacts to Gov. Whitmer’s 2020-2021 budget proposal

LANSING, Mich. —  The following is a statement from School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director Robert McCann reacting to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2020-2021 budget proposal:

“Gov. Whitmer’s 2020-2021 budget proposal takes significant steps toward a weighted school funding formula as recommended in the School Finance Research Collaborative report, including additional funding for special education services, at-risk students, students living in poverty and English Language Learners. We applaud the governor for her continued support for a new, fairer school funding approach that helps all students succeed, whether they are bound for college, technical school, skilled trades careers or jobs right after high school. Using the Collaborative report as a roadmap, we look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to adopt a new approach that ensures all students succeed, regardless of income, zip code, learning challenges or other circumstances.”

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.

In 2018, the Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair. The final Collaborative report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, English Language Learners, Career and Technical Education programs, students living in poverty, preschool, geographic isolation, district size, cost of living differences and student transportation.

###

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

STATEMENT: SFRC applauds Gov. Whitmer’s support for weighted school funding method

LANSING, Mich. —  The following is a statement from School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director Robert McCann on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s support for a weighted school funding approach in her State of the State address:

“We applaud Gov. Whitmer’s support for a weighted school funding approach as detailed in the 2018 School Finance Research Collaborative report and supported by Gov. Whitmer in her original 2019-2020 budget proposal. We appreciate the governor’s attention to third-grade literacy, which will only be improved with a new, fairer school funding approach that helps all students succeed, regardless of their circumstances.”

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. In 2018, the Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair.

###

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

STATEMENT: Bills provide tax relief to big business at cost of Michigan’s K-12 students

LANSING, Mich. — The following is a statement from former Michigan Republican House Speaker Rick Johnson on committee approval of House Bills 5127–5128, which would provide tax breaks to data centers at the expense of Michigan’s K-12 students:

“Michigan can no longer afford to provide tax breaks for big business at the expense of our K-12 students, who continue falling behind their peers around the country,” said Johnson, also a School Finance Research Collaborative member. “Now is the time for a new, fairer school funding approach that helps all students succeed, whether that means college, technical school, apprenticeships or jobs right after graduation. It’s time to abandon tax gimmicks that only hurt our kids and instead give them the same opportunity to get a high-quality education and compete for jobs.”

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.

In 2018, the Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair. The final Collaborative report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, English Language Learners, Career and Technical Education programs, students living in poverty, preschool, geographic isolation, district size, cost of living differences and student transportation.

###

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

STATEMENT: Collaborative urges lawmakers to include SFRC research in school-aid budget

LANSING, Mich.  — The following is a statement from School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson.

“Taking road funding off the table in the current budget discussions doesn’t change the need to complete work on a K-12 budget that begins to serve the unique needs of every student, with additional resources for at-risk students and those living in poverty. The School Finance Research Collaborative urges the Legislature to support Gov. Whitmer’s weighted school funding formula as part of its final school-aid budget, as recommended by our research and supported by educators and business leaders across Michigan.”

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. Read the full Collaborative report.

###

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

PRESS RELEASE: Michigan business, education leaders weigh in on House K-12 budget

LANSING, Mich. — The following are statements from Michigan business and education leaders who serve on the School Finance Research Collaborative reacting to today’s House School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee approval of a 2020 school budget plan.

Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, SFRC Project Director

“It’s time for a new school funding method that provides all students the same opportunity to receive a high-quality education and compete for jobs. The School Finance Research Collaborative has provided the roadmap to fixing Michigan’s broken school funding approach to serve all students, regardless of zip code, income, learning challenges or other circumstances. I encourage the Legislature to support Gov. Whitmer’s school funding plan, which supports the Collaborative’s research and provides the building blocks for student success.”

Doug Maibach, Barton Malow Enterprises chairman

“Michigan businesses rely on our public schools to provide students with the skills needed to fill thousands of unfilled jobs across our state. I encourage the Legislature to support Gov. Whitmer’s school funding proposal, which includes additional funding for Career and Technical Education programs that provide the foundation for successful careers in the skilled trades.”

###

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. Read the full Collaborative report.

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

PRESS RELEASE: SFRC calls on governor, lawmakers to work together to fix broken school funding method

LANSING, Mich. —  The School Finance Research Collaborative today called on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature to work together to fix Michigan’s broken school funding method to make it fair for all students.

“Now is the time for Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature to come together and fix Michigan’s obsolete school funding approach to meet the unique, individual learning needs of all students, regardless of income, zip code, learning challenges or other circumstances,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director. “Michigan’s students continue falling behind, and the governor and lawmakers must adopt a new, fairer school funding plan that helps all kids succeed.”

In 2018, the School Finance Research Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair. The final Collaborative report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, English Language Learners, Career and Technical Education programs and students living in poverty. The Collaborative is a diverse, bipartisan group of business leaders and education experts, from Metro Detroit to the U.P., who agree it’s time to fix Michigan’s broken school funding approach.

Gov. Whitmer’s 2020 budget proposal supports the School Finance Research Collaborative’s research, including a weighted formula for special education, low-income and at-risk children, and Career and Technical Education programs. The governor’s budget proposal is a significant step forward in helping all kids succeed.

###

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

PRESS RELEASE: West Michigan Talent Triangle announces support for Gov. Whitmer’s 2020 education budget

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The West Michigan Talent Triangle supports Gov. Whitmer’s 2020 education budget, which incorporates the School Finance Research Collaborative  findings to help all students achieve and succeed.

“The West Michigan Talent Triangle supports Gov. Whitmer’s school funding plan, which uses nationally recognized research to make key investments so all students have the opportunity to get a high-quality education and compete for the jobs of the future,” said Tom TenBrink, superintendent of Jenison Public Schools. “The governor’s budget proposal also makes progress on ending the shell games played with the School Aid Fund by removing university funding. The voters were explicit in their intent to have the School Aid Fund used for K-12 education. We look forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to put it into action.”

If passed, the governor’s budget would create a weighted formula to improve classroom resources for:

  • Special education needs
  • Low-income and at-risk children
  • Career and Technical Education programs

The West Michigan Talent Triangle is an education advocacy organization representing Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa Area ISDs and their 42 member school districts.

In 2018, the School Finance Research Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair. The 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 final Collaborative report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, English Language Learners, Career and Technical Education programs, students living in poverty, preschool, geographic isolation, district size, cost of living differences and student transportation.

###

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

PRESS RELEASE: SFRC congratulates Dr. Michael Rice as Michigan’s new Superintendent of Schools

LANSING, Mich. — The School Finance Research Collaborative today congratulated Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice for being named Michigan Superintendent of Schools. As a Collaborative member, Rice has helped provide the roadmap for a new, fairer school funding approach that serves all students.

“Dr. Rice has played an important role in the Collaborative’s efforts to fix Michigan’s broken school funding approach and make it fair for all students, and we congratulate him on his new role as the head of our public schools,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Collaborative Project Director. “With Dr. Rice at the helm, Michigan is taking a giant step forward in meeting the unique, individual needs of all students, regardless of zip code, income, learning challenges or other circumstances.”

Dr. Randy Liepa, Wayne RESA superintendent and a Collaborative member, was also a finalist for the position.

The Michigan Board of Education on Tuesday selected Rice to serve as Superintendent of Schools, replacing the late Brian Whiston as the state’s chief public schools official. Rice has led Kalamazoo Public Schools since 2007, overseeing enrollment growth, improved student achievement and increased graduation rates in his district.

The 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 of educating a child and making the way we fund our schools more fair.

The final Collaborative report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, English Language Learners, Career and Technical Education programs, students living in poverty, preschool, geographic isolation, district size, cost of living differences and student transportation.

###

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

PRESS RELEASE: School funding group honored with 2019 Friend of Education Award

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The School Finance Research Collaborative on Wednesday was honored with the Michigan School Business Officials’ (MSBO) 2019 Friend of Education Award, given to people or organizations dedicated to serving  the best interests of education and students.

“The School Finance Research Collaborative is truly honored to accept the MSBO’s Friend of Education award as we continue our mission to fix Michigan’s broken school funding approach and provide an adequate and equitable education to all students,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Collaborative Project Director, who accepted the award at the MSBO’s annual conference at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. “We look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer and lawmakers from both parties to create a new school funding method that helps all students achieve and succeed, no matter their circumstances.”

The MSBO Board of Directors selects Friend of Education recipients based on their outstanding support of education in Michigan and dedication to serving the best interests of education and students.

“We are proud to recognize the School Finance Research Collaborative as a Friend of Education as it continues to support a school funding system that serves the unique needs all students,” said Mike Hagerty, MSBO Board President and Kent ISD Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services. “The Collaborative has provided the roadmap for a new school funding approach that helps all students achieve and succeed.”

The MSBO was founded in 1937 as a nonprofit corporation to serve the multifaceted interests of education.

In 2018, the School Finance Research Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair. The 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 final Collaborative report provides a base cost for student achievement in Michigan, with additional funding considerations for special education, English Language Learners, Career and Technical Education programs, students living in poverty, preschool, geographic isolation, district size, cost of living differences and student transportation.

###

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