The Equity Edition: No Cuts for Schools is Good News; More Work Needed on Fair Funding
No Cuts for Schools is Good News; More Work Needed on Fair Funding
State leaders said this week they reached agreement on the framework of the School Aid budget with no reduction in funding to K-12 public schools. In an editorial in Bridge Michigan, Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest, said the following:
“Never before in modern U.S. history has there been a more important moment for our state to commit to supporting all of our students, by recognizing every child’s innate capacity to learn at high levels, no matter the color of their skin, the language they speak or their ZIP code.
“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan’s legislative leaders already have demonstrated important leadership for their ongoing efforts to make smart and thoughtful investments to support students and their families during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Indeed, the emerging School Aid Budget framework announced in recent days reflects the difficult decisions that legislators made to avoid devastating cuts to schools and students overall in an urgent fiscal crisis driven by COVID-19. We applaud the bipartisan efforts to prioritize public education in this moment of urgent decision-making.
“As details are finalized, we must continue to prioritize funding for learners who have been most impacted by the social and economic inequities that were exacerbated by the school closures, including students of color, low-income children, English learners and students with disabilities.
“A recent McKinsey analysis estimates that America’s students will fall seven months behind on average, while the losses are expected to be far greater on average for low-income, Black and Latino students. Black students may fall more than 10 months behind on average, while Latino students may fall more than nine months behind. Low-income students could fall more than a year behind.
“And as we look toward future state budget cycles in the coming months, the urgency will continue for all Michigan leaders to keep in mind the long-term goals of investing in vulnerable students’ needs – and addressing the structural inequities in Michigan’s school funding system.
“A thoughtful bipartisan focus on equity will be necessary, especially to avoid worsening the opportunity and achievement gaps that were prevalent long before the school shutdowns this past spring.”
Read the full editorial here.
Arellano also issued the following statement:
“The emerging School Aid Budget framework reflects the difficult position that legislators face to avoid devastating cuts to schools and students overall in an urgent fiscal crisis driven by COVID-19. We applaud the bipartisan efforts to prioritize public education in this time-sensitive decision-making.
“Moving forward, it is imperative for all Michigan leaders to keep in mind long-term goals of investing in vulnerable students’ needs and addressing the structural inequities in Michigan’s school funding system heading into future state budget cycles, as well as greater accountability and transparency to ensure public dollars meant for specific student groups are sure to reach their classrooms.”
Bosch Community Fund grant to support ETM practice team’s work to improve learning, close gaps
The Education Trust-Midwest is grateful for renewed support from Bosch Community Fund, which will advance the work of our Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) practice team to build educator capacity and close opportunity and achievement gaps for vulnerable students.
With support from the Bosch Community Fund and other philanthropic organizations, CETL will continue to bring high-leverage, research-based practices from leading education states to transform teaching and learning in Michigan’s high-poverty schools, including in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects.
With a focus on teacher leadership, CETL coaches work shoulder-to-shoulder with educators to build capacity and sustainable, school-level systems of improvement in a network of nine high-poverty schools in Kent County. This includes supporting teacher leaders to facilitate job-embedded professional development for their peers around high-leverage instructional practices with the goal of improving teacher efficacy and the quality of instruction for all students.
The generous support from the Bosch Community Fund will help us continue the strong research-driven efforts of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Thanks to efforts of the CETL coaching team in partnership with committed educators and other supporters, several CETL network schools have been among the fastest improving, high-poverty schools in Michigan in previous years.
The work of the The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is generously sponsored by the Steelcase Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Frey Foundation and the Bosch Community Fund.
The House Education Committee met today, September 16, at 10:30 a.m. in the House Appropriations Room in the State Capitol. Agenda:
- House Bills 6171–6172, which would extend the period of time that state tuition grants and competitive scholarships may be used for students enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic last spring and this year. Qualification criteria for competitive scholarships would also be temporarily adjusted to reflect the cancellation of the Spring 2020 SAT. The Education Trust-Midwest supports these bills.
- House Resolution 234, which would urge Congress to lift the current ban on Pell Grants for students in prison education programs. The Education Trust-Midwest supports this resolution.
- House Bill 4174, which would exempt certain apprenticeship programs from occupational school regulations.
Earlier this week, House Appropriations Chair Shane Hernandez, Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas, and State Budget Director Chris Kolb announced an agreement on spending for the fiscal year beginning October 1. Notably, the leaders announced that there would be no reduction in funding to K-12 public schools, an outcome that looked unlikely just a month ago. Additional details of the fiscal year 2020-21 budget are expected next week.
- Michigan leaders agree to budget deal with no cuts to schools, cities, Craig Mauger, The Detroit News
- Will This Be a Lost Year for America’s Children? A discussion with John B. King Jr., president and chief executive of the Education Trust and others as moderated by Emily Bazelon, The New York Times Magazine
- Online school is a nightmare. No one is fixing it. Nancy Kaffer, The Detroit Free Press
- Opinion: COVID-19 education for special needs children falls short, Rick Baker and Kathy Carter, The Detroit News
- Bright Spots: How 2 Universities Built a Diverse Student Body, Gabriela Montell and Wil Del Pilar, The Education Trust