Skip to main content

Don't Be Misled by $778 At-Risk Payments

Governor Snyder recently proposed a $778 increase per economically disadvantaged pupil in Michigan. At first glance, this looks good. Who can argue with an announcement like this:

An increase of $150 million, to a total of $529 million, to ensure that children in difficult financial situations are getting the help they need. All districts and public school academies will now be eligible to receive an additional $778 per pupil to assist at-risk students.

After all, it's money for at-risk students. We instantly assume that the governor is proposing helping our neediest students, which should make us all jump for joy.

And we know from the adequacy study done last year that our poorest students require greater funding (30% more!) to educate if we ever hope to close the achievement gap, not to mention their general recommendation of $8,667 per pupil as a foundation allowance (note that many districts in Michigan still receive far less than this).

But the real problem of inequitable funding still exists under this plan. Districts that didn't receive at-risk funding from the state before can now receive this additional money.

These are mostly districts that are considered "hold harmless." They're districts that had larger foundation allowances prior to the passing of Proposal A. Essentially, their communities are still allowed to levy additional educational mills and thus receive more money per pupil.

Under this plan, Birmingham Public Schools will receive an extra $400,000 for at-risk students. Their foundation allowance is $11,984.

Bloomfield Hills will receive around $360,000. Their foundation allowance is $12,064.

Grosse Pointe will receive $820,000. Their foundation allowance is $9,924.

Compare this to Van Buren Public Schools, where the foundation allowance is $7,667, and Wayne-Westland Community Schools where the foundation allowance is $7,511. While these districts will receive $419,000 and $1.3 million respectively it still doesn't make up for the difference in foundation allowances.

Thus, the wealthier districts continue to get wealthier under the governor's plan, and the funding gap will never close, even if his plan operates under the guise of helping the neediest students.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Words

I get to school early and my students know that. This morning, a student that I’m not even particularly close with arrived at 6:00 AM in tears. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say to students and colleagues about the presidential election.
This student and I talked about fear. We talked about her history. We talked about how she encouraged her mother to vote for the first time—ever. We talked about how she can’t understand why people would vote for a fear-mongering, hate-talking candidate like Donald Trump. We talked about her experience Monday seeing President Obama for the first time, an experience that she was so motivated to make happen. Toward the end of our conversation, she said that she finally finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Not that I’m equating President-Elect Trump to the Dark Lord, but we talked about how even with Voldemort, people supported him. It may have been out of fear and group loyalty, but it was support nonetheless. And whil…

Letter to the Editor Regarding DeVos

***Update:  At the time this letter was read at Monday’s board meeting, the hearing regarding Betsy DeVos’ nomination as the secretary of education was still scheduled for Wednesday, January 11. Later that evening, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions postponed the hearing until January 17 at 5:00 PM.

This is a letter to the editor that I will submit for the January 12 edition of the Belleville-Area Independent
-----
To the Editor:
This week marks a defining moment for public education in the United States. On Wednesday, January 11, a hearing will have taken place regarding Betsy DeVos’ nomination as the secretary of education.
During the past few board meetings, I have expressed my concerns publicly about Mrs. DeVos’ appointment to the top education post, and I reiterate those same concerns here. I have contacted Senator Stabenow and Peter’s offices, and they both have now expressed their concerns regarding this appointment and have vowed to…

On Competition and Donald Trump, Jr.

Listening to Donald Trump, Jr.’s speech makes my blood boil.
There are a few points that need our attention.
1. Competition makes education better.
Browse Diane Ravitch’s blog post about the competition that has run rampant in Detroit Public Schools. She references Donald Cohen’s post, where he debunks the myth about competition increasing student achievement. Cohen concludes the following: “If charter schools were systematically outperforming DPS schools, these lessons would be easier to stomach in Detroit. But the city’s charter schools are rife with wasteful spending, double dipping, and insider dealing, and many have been allowed to operate for years despite terrible academic records.”
And let us not forget the Detroit Free Pressexposé on charter schools. Many do not disclose how they spend public dollars, and the majority underperformed when compared to traditional public schools. Quoting the Free Press, public dollars were misused in ways such as: A Bedford Township charter sc…