Comprehensive School Funding Study Released

02 Feb Comprehensive School Funding Study Released

You may have heard on local broadcasting or your favorite newsfeed that the expected results of a long-
awaited study of Michigan school funding was released this week.

Michigan public schools are facing a 6% decline in per pupil funding since 2009, with only 65% of per
pupil funding for public school students coming from State tax dollars. The promise made in Proposal A
in 1993 has been broken.

Michigan’s schools have fallen to the bottom of nationwide rankings. Business leaders, school experts,
parents, students and leaders from diverse political groups agree that a fundamental look at the way
Michigan funds its schools is necessary. The study was undertaken by the School Finance Research
Collaborative, a diverse group of business leaders and education professionals, who enlisted top
industry experts to re-examine our approach to school funding. The study is meant to build on the
findings of the State-funded adequacy report released in 2016, which used only one methodology.

These are some of the recommendations:

  • The base per-pupil cost to educate a regular education K-12 student in Michigan should
    be $9,590, which does not include transportation, food service or capital costs, and
    only includes pension costs at 4.6% of wages.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    For more information on the SFRC and the full report, visit