Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Study Confirms Inequity of Michigan's School Funding System

 Evidence continues to mount proving that Michigan shortchanges the educational needs of children growing up in high-poverty school districts such as Godfrey-Lee Public Schools:

"Six states have regressive (school) funding systems, meaning districts with higher poverty rates actually receive less funding than more well-off districts. The most regressive state is Illinois, followed by North Carolina, Alabama, Michigan, Texas, and Colorado." ~ Huffington PostSchool Funding Practices Unfair Across States, National Report Card Finds

"...having a predictable, stable and equitable system of education finance is of critical importance to the success of any improvement effort. Sufficient school funding, fairly distributed to districts to address concentrated poverty, is an essential precondition for the delivery of a high-quality education through the states. Without this foundation, education reforms, no matter how promising or effective, cannot be achieved and sustained." ~ Introduction, National Report Card 2012

The data behind conclusions of this new study pinpoints the Godfrey-Lee district as one of three in West Michigan unfairly funded in comparison to surrounding districts in the same labor market, despite having the highest rate of school-age poverty in the county coupled with one of the highest percentages of limited English proficiency across the entire state.

"Put very simply, districts with higher student needs than surrounding districts in the same labor market don’t just require the same total revenue per pupil to get the job done....The districts in these tables not only don’t have the “same” total state and local revenue per pupil than surrounding districts. They have less and in some cases they have a lot less! In many cases their child poverty rate is more than twice that of the surrounding districts that continue to have more resources." ~ America’s Most Screwed City Schools: Where are the least fairly funded city districts? 

The obvious question is whether or not this will be enough to wake up Governor Snyder and our legislative leaders in Lansing?

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