Adequacy Study Inadequate, But So Is Funding

All Districts, MI — Late in the Lame Duck legislative session of 2014, Democrats won what they thought was a major victory in getting the Republican-led legislature and Gov. Snyder to agree to a study of how much it actually costs to educate a child in Michigan.
Though the study had been long avoided for fear it would suggest schools are way underfunded, Republican leaders traded their support for the study in return for Democrats’ “yes” votes for the Proposal 1 highway funding plan soundly rejected by voters the following May.
Now, two months after its release, the Michigan Education Finance Study remains more an item of curiosity — think meteor landing — than the bombshell intended by Democrats and feared by Republicans. To date, it appears unlikely the report’s impact on the education/legislative landscape will resemble the crater left by meteor or man-made missile.
True to expectations, the report suggested Michigan does not spend enough on education to achieve the desired proficiency levels or the demands set for students and schools on the MSTEP and the SAT. The report recommends a base foundation of $8,667 per student; most districts receive the current base (lowest) foundation amount of $7,511.
Unfortunately, the study did not provide the information most desired, or expected.
– See more at:

One need look no further than the Godfrey-Lee School District to understand the shortcomings of a study based on successful school districts. Godfrey-Lee is funded at the current base foundation of $7,511 for the coming school year. Across town, Forest Hills is funded at a level near the $8,667 recommended by the APA study. Receiving Forest Hills funding in Godfrey-Lee would make a difference, but it would in no way bring Godfrey-Lee achievement scores up to Forest Hills levels. Why? Because about 90 percent of Godfrey-Lee students are considered at-risk due to their family income levels. and nearly two-thirds are English-language learners.
– See more at:


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