- The base per-pupil cost to educate a regular education K-12 student in Michigan is $9,590, which does not include transportation, food service or capital costs, and only includes pension costs at 4.6% of wages.
- Charter and traditional public schools should be funded equally.
- It costs $14,155 to educate a preschool student age 3 or 4.
- In addition to the base per-pupil cost, a percentage of the base cost should be provided for special education, English Language Learners, students living in poverty and programs to provide Career and Technical Education.
- Transportation costs should be funded at $973 per rider until further study can be carried out.
- Because Michigan’s school district sizes vary widely and small districts lack economies of scale, district size must be taken into account, with funding increases provided for all districts under 7,500 students.
As you look at the recommendations, it is important to understand that many districts, including Vestaburg, is funded at a base of $7,631 per student not including some grants and federal funds that the school receives. This includes things like transportation and food service. In addition to most of the districts being underfunded, the funding levels are not equal. As reported by the Detroit Free Press on January 17, 2018, "Per-pupil funding varies widely in the state. In metro Detroit, for instance, a number of districts receive the bottom amount and the two highest-funded districts — Birmingham Public Schools and Bloomfield Hills Schools — receive slightly more than $12,000 per pupil."
In addition to most of the districts being underfunded, the funding levels are not equal. As Randy Liepa, superintendent of the Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, the intermediate school district for Wayne County stated (as reported in the Detriot Free Press on January 17, 2018), "We’ve all recognized that the system which started in 1994 with a promise is now just stale, outdated and really needs to be corrected," referring to Proposal A, the current system for funding schools that was enacted that year."
Why should a student from Bloomfield Hills Schools cost more to educate than a student from Vestaburg? Does a student from Birmingham Public Schools deserve a better education that one from Vestaburg, I think not! It is time that we as citizens demand that our legislators do what is right for our students, all of our students and fund education appropriately and equitably.
The full report can be viewed at https://t.co/OQlfjQrpxG. Also, you can read full Detroit Free Press Article at https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2018/01/17/michigan-school-funding-report/1039756001/