The state House this week approved a budget proposal that would include the largest single-year per-student increase in education funding in 17 years.
The proposal would increase the per-pupil foundation allowance between $120 and $240 dollars for districts across the state. It aligns with Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal.
How significant would that funding increase be for schools? And what would it actually mean for classrooms across Michigan?
“I suspect a good number of school districts will focus on the classroom and see what they can do in terms of possibly hiring more teachers,” says Wayne State University professor Michael Addonizio, a school finance expert, who says local school boards might also consider giving their teachers raises if that or a similar increase in funding is signed into law.
But Addonizio says the proposal would not address structural problems with Michigan’s funding model, and is not a silver bullet for solving Michigan’s education woes.
Recently, an adequacy study was conducted to answer the questions, how much does it cost to educate a child in Michigan and how can the state best reform the its broken school funding system?
Addonizio says the state’s level of funding for schools, even under this latest proposal, wouldn’t come close to what the study recommends.
WDET’s Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio’s Cheyna Roth talk about the proposed funding increase and what it would mean for schools, students, and teachers.
Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.