STATEMENT: Education Trust-Midwest echoes SFRC research calling for weighted school funding approach

LANSING, Mich. — The following is a statement from School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director Robert McCann on Education Trust-Midwest’s new report that supports the Collaborative’s landmark school funding adequacy study:

“We welcome Education Trust-Midwest’s support for the School Finance Research Collaborative’s research, particularly the Collaborative’s call for policymakers to adopt its recommended weighted funding formula, which includes additional funding for special education, English Language Learners and students living in poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on huge inequities and the lack of fairness in Michigan’s school funding approach. Lawmakers grappling with the possibility of school cuts amid this public health crisis need to heed the recommendations of the SFRC report during the pandemic and beyond so our kids don’t continue falling behind.”

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 fix Michigan’s broken school funding approach. In 2018, the SFRC completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating a child in our state.

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

PRESS RELEASE: Business leaders, education experts urge lawmakers to heed SFRC study in budget debate

LANSING, Mich. — Business leaders and education experts from across Michigan today called on policymakers to use the School Finance Research Collaborative study as a roadmap in determining school funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, the Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating a student, with additional funding considerations for special education students, students living in poverty, English Language Learners and Career and Technical Education programs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the huge inequities and the lack of fairness in how Michigan’s schools are funded,” said Dr. Randy Liepa, Wayne RESA superintendent and School Finance Research Collaborative member. “The public health crisis has also magnified glaring disparities already in place due to the outdated way we fund our schools. We see this in the digital divide. We also see it as educators do their very best with limited resources to support special education students from a distance.”

“We don’t know what it will cost to make our classrooms safe, such as providing Personal Protective Equipment to teachers and students and measures to accommodate social distancing in our classrooms and hallways,” said Ron Koehler, an education consultant and former assistant superintendent at Kent ISD. “We also don’t know the cost of continuing remote learning for our kids, or whether we will need to expand these programs to serve student needs. Despite great uncertainty, we need to make our kids our top priority in Michigan’s resurgence.”

“Michigan’s public schools are already woefully underfunded, and additional cuts would make a bad situation even worse for our kids,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Oakland Schools superintendent and School Finance Research Collaborative member. “We strongly urge lawmakers to heed the findings of our research. We owe it to our kids to chart a new path that provides all students the same opportunity to succeed.”

“I can tell you firsthand Michigan’s businesses rely on our children receiving a solid K-12 education that prepares them for the real world,” said Doug Maibach, chairman of Barton Malow Enterprises. “That includes classroom learning as well as the life skills needed to succeed in a fiercely competitive global economy. Now is the time for our policymakers to adopt a new school funding plan that helps all students succeed, regardless of learning challenges, income, zip code or other circumstances.”

“It’s never been more important for lawmakers to heed the findings of the School Finance Research Collaborative report,” said Jim Stapleton, president and CEO of B&R Consultants, Regent Emeritus at Eastern Michigan University, and School Finance Research Collaborative member. “Our policymakers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to heed the SFRC’s research and make this long overdue investment in our kids. By using the Collaborative report as a guide, we can adopt a new approach that prepares all students for bright futures. If kids and educating them are truly the mission of both parties, then prioritizing funding their education cannot and should not be caught up in politics “

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.

Click here for a recording of the media event.

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

PRESS RELEASE: SFRC reacts to Legislature’s failure to allocate federal COVID-19 relief funds to serve Michigan’s students

COVID-19 relief bill another missed opportunity by policymakers to fix Michigan’s broken school funding approach

LANSING, Mich. — The following are statements from the School Finance Research Collaborative reacting to the Legislature passing a bill that fails to allocate federal COVID-19 relief funds to serve the unique, individual needs of Michigan’s K-12 students:

“Any additional school funding cuts could hamper a safe return to school and likely exacerbate the growing inequities in our schools, disproportionately affecting students with the greatest hurdles to learning,” said Dr. Randy Liepa, Wayne RESA superintendent. “From the digital divide to schools struggling to serve the needs of special education students, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the glaring disparities already in place in our broken school funding approach. As Michigan’s schools reopen, students will only continue falling further behind without a new school funding approach that helps them achieve and succeed.”

“It’s never been more important to follow the findings of the School Finance Research Collaborative study,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Oakland Schools superintendent. “A weighted school funding approach that serves all students, including those enrolled in special education, English Language Learners and students living in poverty, is essential to making sure all kids get a world-class education, regardless of their zip code. Our policymakers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow the SFRC’s research and make a long overdue investment in our public schools that helps prepare students for in-demand jobs, including 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.

In 2018, the Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that determined the true cost of educating all students, no matter their circumstances. 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.

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

 

STATEMENT: School Finance Research Collaborative reacts to revenue estimating conference

LANSING, Mich. — The following is a statement from School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director Robert McCann regarding today’s revenue estimating conference.

“Today’s revenue estimating conference shines a light on the unprecedented economic and budgetary challenges our state faces due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan’s schools are already underfunded, as demonstrated in the School Finance Research Collaborative’s research. Additional funding cuts as we prepare to reopen our economy would make a bad situation even worse and further limit our ability to meet the unique needs of all students. We should not and cannot balance next year’s budget on the backs of Michigan students, which will further hamper their ability to achieve, succeed and compete in the 21st century economy.”

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, regardless of  their circumstances. 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.

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

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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