LANSING — The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to support the School Finance Research Project, which has produced Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study and a roadmap to fixing Michigan’s broken school funding system. The project is an initiative of the School Finance Research Collaborative, 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.
“We greatly appreciate the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s continued support of our effort to reexamine Michigan’s school funding system to serve the needs of all students, regardless of zip code, income, race, learning challenges or other circumstances,” said Bob Moore, School Finance Research Project Director. “With the foundation’s support, we will continue to educate candidates for office, policymakers, key stakeholders and the public at large about this first-of-its-kind, student-centered research.”
The School Finance Research Collaborative’s study determined the true cost of educating a child to Michigan’s academic standards, and provided policymakers with the building blocks for a new school funding system that serves the unique needs of all students. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Mott Foundation and the Skillman Foundation also provided initial funding for the School Finance Research Project. Total project funding is now approximately $1.2 million.
“The School Finance Research Collaborative’s call for a new school funding system that serves the wide-ranging needs of all students directly aligns with our belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive,” said Regina Bell, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Officer. “Our foundation works with communities to create conditions that help vulnerable children realize their full potential in school, work and life, and the Collaborative’s continued efforts will help us achieve those goals.”
The School Finance Research Collaborative study, completed in January of this year, was conducted by the nation’s top two school finance research firms and informed by nearly 300 Michigan educators from across the state. The final 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 study concluded that Michigan’s school funding system also must take into account district size, districts in geographically isolated areas, and differing transportation costs. Read the full report here.
For media inquiries, contact Christopher Behnan, Byrum & Fisk Communications, at (517) 333-1606, ext. 1