Speak Up

School Finance Research Collaborative

    • Education, Policy, Business, Research and Foundation leaders from across Michigan came together last year to address the state's school funding system. Many felt the current system wasn't meeting the needs of Michigan's students and needed to be studied.They commissioned the two leading research firms in the country to answer the question, "What resources are needed to assure all Michigan students can meet the state learning standards, so they are prepared to be successful".
        • The firms looked at leading educational research and gathered feedback from Michigan Educators to develop their recommendations.
  • Recommendations don't just address cost, but really outline what resources are needed in Michigan schools (i.e. class size; materials; professional development; technology; support staff, etc...) that will lead to improved student achievement.
  • The report suggests that school systems should receive $9,590 for each student, and added funds beyond this for students who are at risk; English language learners students with disabilities, and career technical programs - to assure ALL students can meet the state standards.
  • These funding levels will allow school systems to provide the level of school resources identified through the research (such as added teachers, support staff, teaching materials, etc...).
  • The Collaborative wants policy makers and leaders to take the informaiton from this report to change the current school fudnnding system in Michigan.

  • For more information about this report, go to www.fundmischools.org.
  • To watch a quick video, "The cost of Educating a Student" click here.
Download this Q&A and share it with your friends and neighbors - Click here.
Quick Fact Sheet - Click here.
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 Gretchen Whitmer
P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan  48909
Phone: 517.373.3400
Fax: 517.335.7858

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II
Email Address: Garlin.gilchrist@michigan.gov

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

United States Senator Gary Peters
724 Hart Senate Office  Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202.224.6221

State Senator Rosemary Bayer (District 12)
3600 Binsfeld Building, Lansing
Phone:  517.373.2417

State Senator Mallory McMorrow (District 13)
Mail:  P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7536
Phone:  517.373.2523
Email: senmmcmorrow@senate.michigan.gov

Haley Stevens, Congresswoman (11th District)
Mail:  37695 Pembroke Avenue, Livonia 48152
Phone:  734.853.3040

Elissa Slotkin, Congresswoman (8th District)
Mail: 445 S Livernois, Suite 316, Rochester Hills, 48307
Phone: 517.993.0510

Brenda Carter, 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

Mari Manoogian, 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

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.

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).