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Funding for Michigan's public schools has fallen more sharply than any other state over the past quarter century, a new report from Michigan State University finds.
Educators have been forced to meet rising academic standards with inadequate finances, the study authors argue. However, their research shows Michigan could give schools the dollars they need if policymakers devoted the same share of the state economy to supporting education as they did a decade ago.
Revenue - Michigan - Schools - Percent - Inflation
Total revenue for Michigan schools has declined by 30 percent since 2002 when adjusted for inflation, the report shows. Meanwhile, Michigan ranks at the bottom for growth in math and reading proficiency.
"Michigan has tried to improve schools on the cheap, focusing on more accountability and school choice," said David Arsen, MSU professor of education policy and lead author of the study. "To make those policies effective, they have to be matched with adequate funding. We have been kidding ourselves to think we can move forward while cutting funding for schools.
"We don't have to wait any longer. We know that this isn't working."
Arsen details a plan to transform K-12 funding in "Michigan School Finance at the Crossroads: A Quarter Century of State Control." The report, co-authored by MSU doctoral students Tanner Delpier and Jesse Nagel, also provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of trends since the 1994 passage of the landmark Proposal A law, which largely shifted funding from local school districts to the state.
Goal - Information - Period - Research - Observation
"Our goal is to provide information, from a long period of research and observation, that will guide a re-evaluation of the way we fund schools," Arsen said. They found that, after...
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