Press Release

Growing National Recognition is Among Highlights of New Impact Report   

The Education Trust-Midwest will be taking the stage at SXSW EDU 2024 on March 6, 2024, as national leaders and experts seek to showcase what the nation can learn from Michigan and its historic recent strides in making its state’s school funding formula more fair and supportive of students from low-income backgrounds and English Learners. 

As national recognition grows of Ed Trust-Midwest’s recent work, a new Impact Report highlights these recent wins and celebrates a decade of movement-building to ensure that all Michigan students — especially Black and Latina/o students and children from low-income backgrounds — have access to a high-quality public education. Recently Bellwether Education Partners, a nationally respected consulting education company, also highlighted the work of Ed Trust-Midwest and the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity (MPEO) statewide coalition, for which Ed Trust-Midwest serves as a backbone organization.   

“Education Trust-Midwest has emerged as a beacon of educational equity in Michigan, utilizing data-driven advocacy and unwavering dedication to bridging opportunity and achievement gaps. Their efforts have championed equitable funding, expanded access to high-quality early childhood education, and fortified teacher training, propelling educational equity across the state, said Wendy Jackson, Managing Director-Detroit, The Kresge Foundation. 

Ed Trust-Midwest’s new Impact website features stories of the organization’s and its many partners’ collective efforts and more. Highlights include:    

  • Ed Trust-Midwest has advanced 76% of its opportunity agenda’s policy goals over the past three years to improve public education for hundreds of thousands of students.   
  • Today, thanks to its members’ efforts, the MPEO coalition is reaching 28 counties – representing 214 local school districts, 219 charter schools, and more than 1 million Michigan students.    
  • Through the leadership of state Senator Darrin Camilleri and the championship of the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity (MPEO) coalition – for which Ed Trust-Midwest serves as a backbone organization – last year Michigan state leaders passed historic legislation that makes the Great Lakes State among the nation’s first ten states to adopt a state funding system that invests more in students’ schools based on concentration of poverty.   
    • When fully implemented, the new Opportunity Index will drive at least $2.9 billion dollars to the education of students from low-income backgrounds and their public schools.
    • During the state’s FY’24 year alone, more than $200 million additional dollars was invested in students from low-income backgrounds through the new Opportunity Index.
  • MPEO also successfully advocated for a systemic change in the way Michigan funds English Learners last year – shifting to a true weighted funding formula and increasing the state’s investment in English Learners by 50% in one year.   
  • Ed Trust-Midwest has convened and partnered with more than 160 coalition partners over the last decade, working alongside many remarkable leaders and organizations who are building a collective movement for opportunity in our state.  

“We know that change is possible,” said Amber Arellano, Executive Director of The Education Trust-Midwest, a non-partisan, data-driven non-profit. “We have advanced significant and transformational systems change to improve public education for hundreds of thousands of students, especially those who are the most underserved. I’m truly grateful for the tremendous partnerships and leaders alongside whom I get the honor of doing this important and meaningful work in my home state of Michigan.” 

“I have relied on the work of The Education Trust-Midwest for many years. They are simply the most knowledgeable and respected voice on the status and results of Michigan’s education system and policy today. Because they are data and fact-driven, their vision and recommendations for the future carry great weight with policymakers. I trust their work implicitly,” said Ken Sikkema, Former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Consultant with Public Sector Consultants, who is among the leaders across the state whose perspectives are highlighted in the new Impact Report.   

“ETM has been a strong advocate. The things that we believe are important in our school system, they’ve been a strong voice … They’re very talented in all they do, so they should continue with disseminating information, holding folks accountable and challenging where they should be challenged,” said Alice Thompson, CEO, BFDI Educational Services, Inc., Chair of the Detroit NAACP’s Education Committee and Tri-Chair of the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity.  

See all testimonials here. 

The report also includes 10 stories of impact highlighting ETM’s efforts to improve the educational outcomes for all of Michigan’s students, particularly those who are most underserved. These areas include fair funding, pandemic advocacy and students’ educational recovery and advancing policies to ensure educational transparency and equity-centered accountability systems. Read all 10 stories of impact here.    

About The Education Trust-Midwest and Its Growing Partnerships  

A non-partisan research, advocacy and technical assistance organization that is part of the nationally respected Education Trust, Ed Trust-Midwest serves as the backbone organization for the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity.  Ed Trust-Midwest continues to explore innovative opportunities to further focus on education equity and the impact it can make on students’ futures. Since 2021, ETM’s Building the Hope Schools initiative has recognized 14 schools that consistently demonstrate exceptional academic progress or growth for traditionally underserved students.  

Also, together with TeachPlus, ETM launched the Michigan Teacher Leadership Collaborative, providing an avenue for teachers to network and share expertise with other educators while building skills in policy, advocacy, and research.  

To learn more about Ed Trust-Midwest’s impact, check out the recently launched Impact Report or Impact Website at