The trends highlighted above raise concerns about the distribution of K-12 education dollars to serve Michigan students. Before the pandemic arrived, student outcomes left much to be desired. Achievement levels on state and national tests were flat or declining, with far too many students lacking the basic knowledge and skills to put them on track for success in higher education and career. Thousands of young people drop out each year, and among those who graduate, one in four need remedial help at the college level.
Given the recent trend of growing resources and stubbornly frustrating results, the state’s existing K-12 infrastructure does not appear well-suited to meet the goal of advancing student learning on a large scale. This section explores approaches to reforming K-12 funding that could help more students succeed in reaching their potential.