Why is fixing how we fund our schools so important? Current research shows that the decrease in student achievement is related to state funding. Michigan ranked 50thin growth in one of the major indicators of student performance, and ranks among the bottom 5 states when it comes to funding its low-income students. The Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators calls the current means of funding “extremely antiquated” and increased funding, including a weighted funding formula, is “proven to be effective and in the best interests of the students.” The Michigan legislature has focused on accountability (through standardized tests) and on providing school choice, while thinking that they needn’t worry about funding. Policymakers have stressed testing schools as a means to making them achieve more, but the tests only show that the schools are sinking even further compared to other states.

What is happening? The House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Department of Education approved a funding appropriations bill that did not include the weighted funding formula, even though it was advanced by several bipartisan groups concerned with education. The House also released a budget that did not include the weighted formula.

What can we do? We can call the Republican State House Representatives and Senators who should be concerned about Michigan’s low standing in education compared to other states. Please call:

Senators: Ruth Johnson, 14thDistrict: 517-373-1636            Kim LaSata, 21th District: 517-373-6960

Pete Lucido, 8thDistrict: 517-373-7670                               Michael McDonald 10thDistrict: 517-373-7315

Ed Broom, 38thDistrict:  517-373-7840                                  Lana Theis, 22ndDistrict:  517-373-2420

State Representatives:

JoeBellino, 17thDistrict: 517-373-1530                                Julie Calley, 87thDistrict: 517-373-0842

Diana Farrington, 30thDistrict: 517-373-7768                     Roger Hauck, 99thDistrict:   517-373-1789

Gary Howell, 82ndDistrict: 517-373-1800                           Steve Marino, 24thDistrict:  517-373-0113

Aaron Miller, 59thDistrict:  517-373-0832                            Brad Paquette, 78thDistrict:  517-373-1796

Scott VanSingel, 100thDistrict: 517-373-7317                    Hank Vaupel, 47thDistrict:   517-373-8835

Mike Webber, 45thDistrict:  517-373-1773                         Jeff Yaroch, 33rdDistrict:     517-373- 0820

Call to State Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee:

Hello, I’m a Michigan voter and I want to encourage Representative/Senator _________to support our Governor’s school funding proposal. The cost to taxpayers will not be as great as the continued deficit in learning among Michigan’s school children. Adequate funding for education is imperative to making Michigan a state where families want to come to live, work, and educate their children. Increased funding for special needs, at-risk students, and career technical education is badly needed in our state.

Information provided by Susan Gannon of Michigan Resistance. For more information, contact:

info@MichiganResistance.org

Additional resources:

https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/gov-whitmer-boost-michigan-schools-507-million-more-neediest-students

http://education.msu.edu/ed-policy-phd/pdf/Michigan-School-Finance-at-the-Crossroads-A-Quarter-Center-of-State-Control.pdf

https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/michigan-cut-school-funding-and-school-performance-plummeted-coincidence