Speak Up

CRAINS Detroit
Avondale School District included in Crain's Detroit Business article about Shared-time Programs in Michigan Schools:

Big business grows from shared classes

A small group of public schools in Michigan that wrestled for years with declining enrollment, stagnant state aid and budget deficits have made a business worth more than $100 million out of educating private schools and home schooled students at taxpayer expense.

Enrollment in a state program known as "shared time" in which public schools teach elective classes to non-public school students has soared by 174 percent in the past eight years after Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature loosened restrictions.

Now, Snyder wants to rein in the programs as the cost of subsidizing elective courses in private schools and online classes to home school children is expected to balloon next year to $135 million, depleting the pool of available funds for all Michigan schools. It amounts to about $90 for each of the 1.46 million children in Michigan's public school systems.

Read more here
School Finance Research Collaborative

A comprehensive statewide study examining school funding in Michigan, conducted by the School Finance Research Collaborative and released in January 2018, clearly demonstrates the need to reform Michigan's school funding system and provides policymakers with building blocks to begin the process. 

The School Finance Research Collaborative worked in concert with the nation's two leading school
funding research firms to develop the report, which provides the most complete data available
on the cost of student achievement in Michigan.

  • The base per-pupil cost to educate a regular education K-12 student in Michigan is $9,590, which does not include transportation, food service or capital costs, and only includes pension costs at 4.6% of wages.
  • It costs $14,155 to educate a preschool studetn age 3 or 4.
  • Charter and traditional public schools should be funded equally.
  • In addition to the base per-pupil costs, a percentage of the base cost should be provided for special education, English Language Learners, students living in poverty and programs to provide Career and Technical Education.
  • Transportation costs should be funded at $973.00 per rider (until further study can be carried out).
  • Because Michigan's school district sizes vary widely and small districts lack economies of scale, district size must be taken into account, with funding increases provided for all districts under 7,500 students.
Download more information here.
Read the entire report here.
Go here: FundMISchools.org to Learn MORE!
Raise your Voice
Raise your Voice!
How to contact your local lawmaker.

This site, maintained by the Michigan Association of School Boards provides up-to-date information about legislation that WILL impact our students. 

You can sign-up to receive updates and "Calls to Action".

To sign-up scroll to the bottom of the page, click "join", and register your email. You will receive your legislature's contact information, current legislation under review, and talking points for phone calls or emails.

Governor Rick Snyder
Mail: P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan  48909
Phone: 517.335.7858
Fax: 517.335.6863

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Mail: P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan  48909
Phone: 517.373.3400
Email Address: brian.calley@michigan.gov

Mike Bishop, Congressman (8th District)
Mail: 711 E. Grand River Avenue, suite A, Brighton, MI 48116
Phone: 810.227.8600
Fax: 810.227.8628

Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator
432 N. Saginaw Street, Suite 301, Flint, MI  48502
Phone: 810.720.4172

Jim Marleau, State Senator (District 12)
Mail: P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, Michigan  48909-7536
Phone: 248.724.2442
Fax: 517.373.2694
Email Address: jimmarleau@senate.michigan.gov

Marty Knollenberg, State Senator (District 13)
Mail: 201 Townsend Street, Suite #3100, Lansing, MI  48933
Mail 2:  P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7536
Phone: 517.373.2523
Fax: 517.373.5669
Email: martyknollenberg@senate.michigan.gov

Tim Greimel, State Representative, District 29
Mail: P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.0475 or 855.473.4635
Email: timgreimel@house.mi.gov

Martin Howrylak, State Senator, District 13
Mail: P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, Michigan 48909
Phone: 517.373.1783 or 877.248.0001
Email: martinhowrylak@house.mi.gov

Mike McCready, State Representative, (District 40)
Mail: P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517.373.8670 or 855.373.8670
Fax: 517.373.5868
Email: mikemccready@house.mi.gov

Michael Webber, State Representative, (District 45)
Mail P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI  48909
Phone: 517.373.1773
Email: michaelwebber@house.mi.gov

David Trott, Congressmasn (District 11)
Mail: 625 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 204, Troy, MI  48083
Phone: 248.528.0711
Fax: 248.528.0714
To email visit: https://trott.house.gov/contact/offices/troy-office

Legislative Updates

The Michigan Association of School Board's Government Relations Team's weekly newsletter on what's happening in the Legislature can be found here.

Avondale School Funding Summary
presented to the Avondale Board of Education
February 20, 2017
click here to download

Why there are Differences in Michigan Public School Funding
Author: Alicia Urbain, VP of Government and Legal Affairs, MAPSA

In Michigan, there is a range of public funding from school to school. There are both Historical and Political reasons for disparities found across the state.


First, let's start with a brief explanation of where Michigan schools get their funds. There is a mix of federal, state,and local dollars depending on the school district. Prior to 1994, all schools' basic operating funds were primarily funded with local money, and the variances from school to school were vast. In 1994 when Proposal A passed, local property taxes were frozen cut and capped, and sales tax was increased and directed to the state School Aid Fund to pay schools on a per student basis with the intent to get all pupils to equitable funding. Federal funding still exists, but that is typically allocated based on specialized populations of students and programs. Those funds are in addition to the state per pupil foundation allowance.

Per Pupil Foundation Allowance

When Proposal A passed, it created a basic, per-pupil operating allocation for each school, commonly referred to as the "foundation allowance". The amount of a district's foundation allowance was based on how much that district received from the state and federal sources immediately prior to Proposal A's passage. Because there was wide variance across the state, an "equity gap" between the richest and poorest districts existed. Initially, the equity gap in the per pupil foundation allowance from the lowest funded schools to the highest funded schools that received school aid funds was $2,300. Some schools are funded completely from local revenue still today and not included in the equity gap. Today, the gap is down to $718. All charter schools and many other school districts will receive $7,511 from the School Aid Fund as their per pupil foundation allowance. Schools at the state maximum will receive $8,229.

What about the lottery?

The lottery money does go into the School Aid Fund, but that amount of money is just a small amount of the Fund at about $800 million of the $12 billion put into the Fund each year.

Why do I still see local school funding elections?

Proposal A prohibits schools from seeking local millage funds for school operating expenses. Charter schools were never allowed to levy local millages. Traditional school districts can, however, seek voter approval for bond issues, sinking fund millages, and the Intermediate School Districts can ask for a regional enhancement millage. These types of local millages are put to all voters in a district or an Intermediate School District (ISD), and if a majority of voters approve the millage, all residents are taxed on their property values. However, only traditional school district can access the revenue and charter schools are by law prohibited from sharing any of the millage. Bond issues and sinking funds are largely for facilities. Most traditional school districts pay for their facilities, construction, upgrades, and even some upkeep out of these two pots of money. Charter schools must pay for their facilities 100% out of their per pupil foundation allowance.

Regional Enhancement Millage

Recently, ISDs have begun to ask for what is know as a regional enhancement millage. All voters in an ISD are asked to approve the millage. Like the other local millages, if a majority of voters approve the millage, all residents of the ISD, regardless of how they voted, are taxed based on the value of their property. The funds go to the ISD where they are aggregated and then distributed on a per pupil basis to only the traditional school districts. There is no limitation on how schools in the ISD can spend these funds, and they can supplement their operating funds to cover things like technology, security, and even salaries. Charter schools, again, are prohibited by law from receiving any of this revenue, and must pay for all of their needs out of their per pupil foundation allowance (or a small portion of federal funds they qualify).