Equitable Funding Resolution & Information

Resolution in Support of Equitable Funding of Michigan Public Schools

May 13, 2019

Whereas, The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education has been asked to vote to approve the School Finance Research Collaborative's recommended weighted school aid formula; and

Whereas, Governor Snyder's 21st Century Education Commission states the urgency could not be greater regarding the State of Michigan's falling K-12 performance; and

Whereas, Governor Whitmer recently pointed to dismal student performance that shows Michigan students are dead last on improving 4th grade reading proficiency over the last 14 years; and

Whereas, the recent narrative produced by the School Finance Research Collaborative (SFRC) misstates and minimizes the inequity that exists in public education and promotes a proposal that increases the equity gap by disproportionately benefitting high funded districts at the expense of low funded districts; and

Whereas, this inaccurate narrative misinforms policy makers and therefore leads to policies that do not reflect optimal funding practices called for in the research; and

Whereas, Traverse City Area Public Schools and other districts in the State of Michigan continue to receive low, inequitable, and inadequate funding; and

Whereas, some schools are funded above what the School Finance Research Collaborative determined is necessary to fund a child's education; and

Whereas, the state allocates over $1.2 billion to section 147 of the state aid act which is distributed in a manner that disproportionately benefits the highest funded districts thereby increasing the equity gap; and

Whereas, funding in the school aid fund, which was intended to be dedicated to K-12 education, is often raided for other purposes; and

Whereas, equitable funding cannot be achieved until all schools are more equally funded;

Therefore be it resolved, that the school funding formula should make equal funding of all students its first priority and should immediately adjust all students to the "base" or target foundation ($8,409 for FY 2018-19), before increasing funding for any other line item; and be it further

Resolved, that the State should change the distribution methodology of section 147 funds to a per pupil formula with the specific goal of closing the equity gap; and be it further

Resolved, that the State should fulfill its commitment to maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools with the resources dedicated to the School Aid Fund and should refrain from using these resources for any purpose other than K-12 education. 

Signed by the TCAPS Board of Education
May 13, 2019