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Lawmakers miss opportunity to abandon Michigan’s one-size-fits-all school funding model

Posted: 9:05 AM, Sep 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-16 10:41:28-04
School Finance

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan lawmakers today missed an unprecedented opportunity to help prepare all K-12 students for success after a conference committee rejected the School Finance Research Collaborative [fundmischools.org] ’s suggested approach that provides additional resources for special education, students living in poverty, English Language Learners and Career and Technical Education programs. Instead, lawmakers chose to continue the one-size-fits-all approach that continues to fail Michigan students and threaten our state’s economic comeback.

“It’s unfortunate Michigan lawmakers have decided to continue the current broken school funding approach that keeps our schools among the lowest-performing in the nation and creates hurdles for our kids as they prepare for college or jobs,” said Robert McCann, School Finance Research Collaborative project director. “While this budget thankfully calls for increased funding for programs such as special education and English Language Learner instruction, it falls short of the investment needed to truly meet the unique needs of every student. The Collaborative’s suggested weighted funding approach, supported by Gov. Whitmer, prepares all kids for success, regardless of zip code, income, learning challenges or other circumstances and I urge lawmakers to make this critical investment in our students today.”

“I’m disappointed lawmakers have rejected a new approach to school funding that invests in the success of every Michigan student, whether that means college, technical training, apprenticeships or jobs right after graduation,” said Jim Stapleton, President and CEO of B&R Consultants. “What is particularly disappointing is the future of our state’s children should not be subject to partisan politics. I strongly urge the Legislature to support a weighted school funding approach that helps prepare every Michigan student for the modern workforce .”

“I’m disappointed lawmakers have rejected a new approach to school funding that helps every student meet Michigan’s rigorous academic standards and prepare for jobs in the competitive modern workforce,” said Dr. Mike Addonizio, Wayne State University College of Education professor. “I strongly urge the Legislature to support a weighted school funding approach that helps every student achieve and succeed.”

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. Read the full Collaborative report [fundmischools.org] .

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