Mackinac Center Publishes New Report to Simplify Complexities of Education Funding

How School Funding Works in Michigan can serve as resource for all stakeholders

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chantal Lovell
Communications Manager

MIDLAND — Understanding the complexities of how Michigan public schools are funded became much easier today as the Mackinac Center for Public Policy published a new resource, How School Funding Works in Michigan.

The 16-page report offers easy-to-understand explanations of six major topics related to school funding in Michigan. Author Ben DeGrow, director of education policy at the Center, said the guide will be a useful tool for policymakers, parents, media and educators.

“Michigan schools receive funding from a variety of sources based on numerous formulas, so our goal was to create a plain-English guide to help stakeholders easily understand the facts,” DeGrow said. “The debate over the level of school funding may never end, but this new report gives people the facts they need to have meaningful discussions.”

The foundation allowance, categorical grants, funding for intermediate school districts, financing of special education services, school facilities financing and federal revenues are each discussed. While funding levels change annually, most of the key elements remain the same, so this can be a helpful tool for years to come.

“Since school funding is, at best, difficult to understand, the goal of this publication is to simplify things so we can get to the heart of what matters,” DeGrow said. “Now that we know how much money Michigan schools receive and from what sources, we can focus on ensuring we are spending those dollars in the best way possible.”

The report does not attempt to assess the efficacy of certain funding or spending, but rather sticks to an easy-to-understand description of how all the pieces of school funding fit together. It is offered as a public resource that can be used by anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of school funding in Michigan.

Read the full report here.

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