Letter: Michigan must re-examine how it funds schools

As many of you know, the Michigan Legislature is currently debating school funding for next year’s budget.

In the coming weeks, Lansing policymakers will focus on how much it will cost to fund Michigan’s public schools next year.

It’s a great question, but one that requires comprehensive research that tells us what it truly costs to educate all students, from the inner cities to the suburbs, to rural areas and the U.P.

The way we fund Michigan’s schools isn’t working, and we must re-examine our approach so all students can achieve and succeed.

The School Finance Research Collaborative, a broad-based, bipartisan and diverse group of business and education experts from metro Detroit to the U.P., is taking the lead in this effort.

These business, education and community leaders all agree it’s time to change the way Michigan’s schools are funded, and that we must re-examine our approach to fully prepare all students for jobs and success.

The Collaborative is supporting a new school adequacy study that will use multiple methodologies to determine what it costs to fund our schools so all students can succeed, regardless of their race, location, income or other circumstances.

Once completed, we will deliver these findings to Michigan policymakers, stakeholders and taxpayers so they have the best, most accurate and most comprehensive information on what it costs to provide a high-quality education to all public school students, no matter their circumstances, no matter their challenges.

Our students deserve no less.

Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson

Superintendent, Oakland Schools