Commentary: Another missed opportunity to fix Michigan’s broken school funding method

As a business leader in Detroit during our city’s continued resurgence, I know firsthand high quality K-12 education is imperative for our kids to compete for in-demand, good-paying jobs.

Unfortunately, Michigan’s broken school funding approach continues to fail our kids, creating a disheartening gap between the demands of the 21st century workforce and the skills our K-12 students graduate with.

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Opinion: TCAPS meeting on school finance

As Michigan business and education leaders, we greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss the findings of Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study with the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education.

At the Oct. 28 public meeting, we represented the School Finance Research Collaborative, which produced this first-of-its-kind research that provides the framework for a new, fairer school funding approach that helps every student succeed, regardless of location, income, learning challenges or other potential hurdles to learning. The meeting provided a forum to discuss this critical issue as we work together as business, education and civic leaders to fix Michigan’s broken school funding method.

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Opinion: Budget battle a chance to fix school funding

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers discuss a potential supplemental budget, they have a renewed opportunity to begin the process of addressing Michigan’s broken school funding method that continues to fail students from Detroit’s suburbs to west Michigan to the U.P.

It’s time for our leaders in Lansing to finally embrace what the research tells us: There is no one-size-fits-all way to educate our kids, and a new approach is needed that meets the needs of every child, regardless of location, income, learning challenges or other circumstances.

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Opinion | Fix the damn schools, Michigan

As teachers and students across Michigan return to classrooms this fall, school funding remains unsettled as the governor and legislative leaders continue haggling over the 2020 budget.

While these budget talks appear to center on our urgent need for increased road funding, the important matter of school funding seems to have been relegated to a lower priority. This is bad news for Michigan’s future prospects and will only continue our current years-long educational slide and economic underperformance.

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Forum: Recommendations end winners and losers in education funding

I was disappointed by a recent opinion piece by Sue Kelly, Traverse City Area Public Schools Board President, that completely mischaracterizes the School Finance Research Collaborative’s first-of-its-kind study that determined the true cost to educate a child in Michigan. It’s truly disappointing to see misinformation being spread by anyone on this issue of such great importance to the future of Michigan’s schools, its students and our state’s economic comeback.

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Opinion: Closing skills gap must be top priority in Michigan

As superintendent of Wayne RESA, I see firsthand the skills gap that continues to separate Michigan’s students from good-paying jobs in competitive fields.

Through no fault of their own, students here in Wayne County and across Michigan continue falling behind, causing them to lose out on opportunities to their peers in other states and around the globe.

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Grand Rapids-area school districts join statewide push for more funding

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – West Michigan school leaders are among dozens across the state sending lawmakers resolutions they approved urging them for more funding to support students.

School leaders want lawmakers to use the 2018 study by the School Finance Research Collaborative that examined school funding in Michigan as a blueprint for revamping the funding system to cover the true cost of educating students.

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Educators urged to back school funding reform

Some Berrien County school officials are sending a message to state lawmakers who are putting together next year’s budget, saying the way the state funds public schools is “fundamentally broken” and needs to be fixed to reflect the true cost of educating students.

That’s according to a resolution passed recently by trustees in at least two Berrien County school districts – Coloma and Lakeshore – and by the members of the Berrien RESA Board of Education.

The resolution calls for the state to change to a weighted school funding formula that provides more money to school districts for children who are in poverty and special education, or who are English language learners. The state currently gives schools districts a flat rate for each student, with some extra funding for students in special education.

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Inadequate funding – even in affluent districts – still short-changes students

Many people assume that of all 20 Kent County public school districts, Forest Hills has the most money to spend on their students.

In a way that’s right, and in a way that’s wrong.

The suburban district of nearly 10,000 students received $8,409 in the state-funded, per-student foundation allowance this school year, along with Caledonia. That’s the highest allocation in Kent ISD, and $538 more per student than the 14 districts in our area receiving the minimum state foundation allowance of $7,871 per pupil.

But what you may not know is that Forest Hills is getting less money per student than it did 10 years ago, despite mounting costs, inflation and occasional small increases in state funding.

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Numerous People & Groups Speak Up About State Budget Proposal

LANSING, Mich. — A number of groups and individuals shared their opinions on the Governor’s State Budget:

If passed, Gov. Whitmer’s budget plan would triple the state’s number of literacy coaches and create a weighted formula to improve classroom resources for:

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

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