Legislature Answers the Bell, Increases Funding for Michigan Students

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Last week the Michigan House and Senate announced plans to increase the state’s per-pupil school funding by up to $240 per student. The nearly $400 million budget jump for Michigan’s schools is great news for public school teachers and for the students they’re educating. It’ll mean opportunities for more programs, newer supplies, and higher wages.

 
Thankfully, lawmakers have consistently increased K-12 funding, setting new records with each year’s budget. When it comes to our kids, parents know we can never do enough.
 
That’s why at GLEP we strongly support a broad package of potential reforms to empower parents and deliver the best possible education for every Michigan student.
/campaigns/sitesapi/files/images/648799522/BethDeShoneSignature_sm.pngBeth DeShone
Executive Director, Great Lakes Education Project
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“GOP legislators … plan to increase school funding by nearly $400 million, boosting base per-student aide by between $120 and $240, and to spend $120 million to protect drinking water.”

“I believe parents are the first teachers of their children and just like so many other things, parents get to decide,” she said, citing important decisions related to health and nutrition. “School is just another thing where I think parents are the best (ones) to make that decision for their families.”

The 74 Million:Kimball: Working Together, Universities and Charter Schools Can Achieve More for Students

“What charter opponents fail to see is a simple truth: Public education is too complex for there to be one “solution” to the challenges our schools face in educating kids. Students’ needs are simply too diverse and changing, and their success is simply too important to depend on a single answer to meet each student’s needs.”
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Creative Funding Reforms Could Help Kids Get the Education They Deserve

Transportation scholarships, foundation allowance equity, education savings accounts (or ESAs) and even so-called 529 plans empower parents to secure the best possible education for their children.

 
What do they all have in common? Each of these public education funding innovations would help ensure students receive the funding they deserve to meet their unique educational needs. What’s more, each of these ideas funds students – not schools.
 
Thanks to federal reforms achieved at the national level, Michigan residents can already contribute to something called a “529 plan” (named after Section 529 of the IRS code) to help invest and prepay for their kids’ (or relatives’) college education and K-12 educational expenses.
 
Transportation scholarships and education savings accounts represent the next great opportunities here at the state level to ensure public education is targeted towards meeting the unique needs of unique students.
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Every child deserves a high quality education, regardless of his or her zip code. Across the state, public schools – including public charter schools – are innovating and specializing to meet the unique needs of unique students. We need to tear down barriers built by the adult-bureaucracy that too often stands between our kids and these innovative options.

 
The legislature’s commitment to increasing K-12 funding in this year’s budget is fantastic. For our kids’ sake, let’s take the next steps.
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If you would like to get involved in the fight to secure fair funding for every Michigan student, and support reforms like transportation scholarships, foundation allowance equity, or are currently using a 529 plan for K-12 education expenses, we would love to hear your story! Please email your name and a few details to bdeshone@glep.org.


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