The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Oakland Schools Education Foundation, the fiscal sponsor for the School Finance Research Project. The project, currently underway, will help determine the true cost of educating a student in Michigan, regardless of income, location or other circumstances.
The project is an initiative of the School Finance Research Collaborative, a bipartisan and diverse group of business leaders and education experts from Metro Detroit to the U.P. who are leading efforts to reexamine school funding in the state.
“This generous grant from the Mott Foundation will help us explore how we can fund our schools so all students can achieve and succeed,” said Isaiah Oliver, a Collaborative member and president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. “It demonstrates that key Genesee County stakeholders recognize a top-notch K-12 education is essential to prepare all students for the competitive 21st century workforce.”
“The Collaborative’s efforts will provide evidence to inform policies that will help prepare all students for bright futures, whether that means college, technical training, apprenticeships or jobs right after graduation,” said Neal Hegarty, the Mott Foundation’s vice president of programs.
Mott is one of several nonprofits and foundations, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, that have contributed to the Collaborative’s school adequacy study. Adequacy studies determine the cost of providing a quality education to all students, and often include geographic cost differences, labor cost differences, and analysis of geographic isolation, among other factors.
The Collaborative’s study, expected in early 2018, is being conducted by the nation’s top two school finance research firms, and will provide policymakers with the best, most complete and most accurate information on the true cost of educating all Michigan public school students. The new study is utilizing multiple methodologies to reexamine how Michigan’s schools are funded.
Michigan joins more than 30 other states that have conducted comprehensive school adequacy studies over the past 15 years, many conducting multiple studies.