PRESS RELEASE: School funding group calls for new, fairer school funding system at educators dinner

ALPENA, Mich. — Michigan’s current school funding system fails to meet the needs of far too many students, and they will continue to fall behind without a new, fairer approach that meets their unique, individual learning needs, a representative of the School Finance Research Collaborative said at the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Board dinner in Alpena. The dinner was attended by local district school board members and superintendents within the intermediate school district.

“Michigan is in dire need of a new, fairer school funding system that addresses the wide-ranging needs of all students and provides the support services necessary to prepare them for college and careers,” said Steve Wasko, co-chair of the School Finance Research Collaborative Public Engagement Committee, who spoke at the Dec. 6 event at the Pied Piper Opportunity Center in Alpena. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to educating our kids, and with a new governor and Legislature taking office next month, now is the time for action.”

“With our children continuing to fall behind their peers in other states, it’s never been more clear that a new school funding system is needed that ensures all Michigan students, no matter their circumstances, have the same opportunity at getting a good education and competing for jobs,” said former state Rep. Matt Gillard, D-Alpena, a School Finance Research Collaborative member and President and CEO of Michigan’s Children. “Under a fairer school funding system, we can provide all students with a 21st century education that provides them with in-demand skills for good-paying jobs.”

Earlier this year, 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 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 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, 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