Report calls for more school funding

Posted at 6:42 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 08:08:28-04

Some Michigan students are falling behind because their schools are not getting enough funding, according to a new study ordered by the state.

"We need to invest in our kids," said Lansing Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul.

Caamal Canul says that investment isn't happening and students are paying the price.

"The potential that these kids have is just phenomenal, the talent that they have," Caamal Canul said. "For us to be able to level the playing field for them is just absolutely critical."

Lansing has one of the lowest per pupil funding totals at a little more than $7,500. That's almost a thousand dollars less than what a new study says all Michigan schools should be getting, with researchers recommending $8,677 in per pupil funding.

"Lansing happens to have a very high poverty rate and we know from research that poverty matters in terms of educating students," Caamal Canul added. "We have a long ways to catch up for our kids who aren't as fortunate economically as other kids who are."

Researchers noticed that trend too, so they're recommending more funding for students who are considered at risk.

"Our system isn't working and we need to change the way we spend money," said State School Board President John Austin.

Austin says because of that students are falling behind, especially compared to other states.

"We haven't provided sufficient resources, we haven't targeted those resources to close huge learning gaps among kids of color, kids of poverty, immigrant and non-English language learners, special education students -- that's what high performing states do," Austin explained.

That's leaving school districts hoping lawmakers will follow the study's advice.

Since Governor Snyder already signed this year's budget, that help won't be coming any time soon.