LANSING, Mich. — A new Michigan State University report endorses the findings of the School Finance Research Collaborative’s study that determined the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair. MSU College of Education professor David Arsen supports the Collaborative’s work in his new report, Michigan School Finance at the Crossroads: A Quarter Century of State Control .
“This important research further validates our call for a new, fairer school funding system that meets the wide-ranging, individual and unique needs of all Michigan students and provides the support services necessary to prepare them for college and jobs,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, School Finance Research Collaborative Interim Project Director. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to educating our kids, and a new school funding system is needed that serves all students, regardless of zip code, income, learning challenges or other circumstances.”
In his assessment of Michigan’s school funding system, Arsen supports the Collaborative study’s findings that it costs a minimum $9,590 to educate a child to Michigan’s academic standards, and that additional funding considerations are needed for students living in poverty, English Language Learners and special education students.
“Right now, Michigan’s school funding system fails to meet the needs of far too many students, and this new research further proves the need to provide all students the opportunities they deserve, whether that means college, technical training, apprenticeships or jobs right after graduation,” said Rob Fowler, CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, and a School Finance Research Collaborative member. “By following the Collaborative’s roadmap for a new, fairer school funding system, we can provide a high-quality education to all students that provides them with competitive skills for good-paying jobs.”
In 2018, the School Finance Research Collaborative completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study. The 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.