LANSING, Mich., Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- New research supported by a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant and the Oakland Schools Education Foundation will fill in the gaps of the recent Michigan Education Finance study and help lawmakers make overdue, data-driven improvements to how Michigan funds public education, according to a nonpartisan collaborative of educators, academics and civic leaders.
"The Education Finance study, while incomplete, clearly showed a need to spend more per student for at-risk students and English Language Learners," said Gilda Jacobs, a member of the School Finance Research Collaborative and president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. "But it's also clear we need additional information to determine what it costs to properly educate all students, no matter where they live, and that's what this new work will provide."
The results of the supplemental research will be released next year by the collaborative, which includes members from all over the state.
"We're interested in the full facts about school funding with complete and meaningful data, not partisan politics," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who chairs the Oakland Schools Education Foundation that applied for the Kellogg Foundation grant. "Too many children from all backgrounds are being left behind. That's not good for them or for the state of Michigan."
The collaborative will work to disseminate the findings of the both the Education Finance study and additional research, increase public understanding of the need for improvements to how the state funds public education, and will work with lawmakers on data-driven reforms.
In June, the Michigan Education Finance Study found that "notably successful districts" spend $8,667 per student. Current base funding in Michigan is $7,391, for a difference of more than $1,200. But whether that recommended amount is reliable needs more examination, since there were admitted gaps in the information. This new research will help fill in those gaps.
Current members include (in alphabetical order):
Executive Director of The Education Trust – Midwest
Served on United Nations Commission for Human Rights & at the National Poverty Center
Dr. Brian Cherry, Ph.D.
Professor, Northern Michigan University
Former Marquette Area Public School Board Member
CEO of Michigan's Children
Former Member Michigan House of Representatives (106th District – Alpena Area) Former Vice Chairman for the House Appropriations Committee
President & CEO for Michigan League for Public Policy
Former Member of the Michigan Senate & House of Representatives (Representing Southeast Oakland County)
Treasurer and Partner Dodak and Johnson, Government & Political Consulting Firm Former Speaker of Michigan House of Representatives
Former State Representative (102nd District – Cadillac Area)
Chairman of Barton Malow Enterprises
Executive Vice President of the Barton Malow Co.
Teresa Weatherall Neal
Superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools
Dr. Daniel J. Reattoir, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District
Executive Director, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson
Vice-President of the Oakland Schools Education Foundation
Superintendent Oakland Schools
President of B&R Consultants
Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents Members
Mayor of the City of Flint
Serves on The Community Foundation of Greater Flint & Priority Children
Served as Chair for the Flint NAACP Freedom Fund
East Grand Rapids School Board of Education Member
Trustee for Steelcase Foundation
Contact: TJ Bucholz, 517.657.3944
SOURCE Oakland Schools Education Foundation