PRESS RELEASE: Longtime Flint community leader joins School Finance Research Collaborative

Isaiah Oliver, former Flint Community Schools Board of Education President, brings expertise in preparing students for bright futures to school funding group

FLINT Mich.Isaiah Oliver, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and former Flint Community Schools Board of Education President, has joined the School Finance Research Collaborative, the school funding group announced today.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring the voice of the entire Flint community, including its most precious asset — Flint’s children — to the School Finance Research Collaborative as we take a long, hard look at how we fund Michigan’s public schools,” Oliver said. “It’s clear in Flint, and across the entire state that our current school funding system is failing our kids and must be fixed. We must consider the unique needs and challenges of students from all corners of the Mitten as we reexamine how we finance our schools to help all students achieve and succeed.”

Oliver, born and raised in Flint, helps residents, businesses and organizations contribute directly to Flint-area causes in greatest need at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. Oliver was previously the foundation’s Vice President of Community Impact. He served five years on the Flint Community Schools Board of Education, including two years as board president, and four years on the Hurley Medical Center Board of Managers. Oliver also has extensive experience in higher education, having served as Associate Administrator for Workforce, Community and Grant Development at Mott Community College.

“Having experienced first-hand the challenges Flint’s public school students face, Isaiah Oliver will bring an essential perspective to the School Finance Research Collaborative as we seek the best and most reliable information on what it truly costs to educate all students,” said Heather Morolla Kale, General Manager of the Ferris Wheel Innovation Center in Flint, and a Collaborative Advisory Committee member.

Oliver, a graduate of Flint Northwestern High School, earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. He is immediate past president of the Flint Alumni Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and an active member of numerous other community organizations. He and his wife, Shay, live in Flint with their daughters, Zaiah, Carrington and Chelyn.

The School Finance Research Collaborative is a broad-based and diverse group of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, 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 is bringing together top industry experts to determine the cost of providing a high-quality public school education to all Michigan students, regardless of their circumstances.

The Collaborative is supporting a school adequacy study using multiple methodologies which is now underway. The study, expected to be completed in early 2018, will provide policymakers with the best, most complete and most accurate information on what it truly costs to educate all Michigan public school students.


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