Forest Park gets behind new fund reform plan

CRYSTAL FALLS—Forest Park school officials wasted no time getting behind the latest effort to reform Michigan school aid funding.
    During its March 25 regular meeting, the School Board unanimously backed a resolution supporting the recommendations of the recent School Finance Research Collaborative study.
    The collaborative said the school adequacy study is “providing a roadmap to fixing Michigan’s broken school funding approach and making it fair for all students.”
    The collaborative describes itself as “a diverse group of business leaders and education experts, from Metro Detroit to the U.P., who agree it’s time to change the way Michigan’s schools are funded.” The study was done to determine “the true cost of educating all students to make the way we fund schools more fair.”
    This approach, it said, will ensure all state students get the same opportunity at a good education, including special education students and those living in poverty. It would give them “competitive skills for good-paying jobs.” Without a new approach to school funding, it added, state students will continue to fall behind those from other states.
    The full report can be found at fundmischools.com.
    Among the key findings: The base cost to educate a Michigan K-12 student is $9,590 (not including transportation, food service and capital costs).
    Forest Park’s present funding per student: $7,820, which
 is 81.5 percent of the state base cost.
    Finance Committee Chair Stacy Gasperich reported on the study during the meeting. Preschool student costs, she added, were over $14,000 per pupil.
    Gasperich asked the board to support the findings and encourage the Legislature to adopt “fairer school funding models.”

 

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