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Michigan spends a lot of money to support non-public school students, and here's why

Oct 18, 2016

Michigan will spend nearly $100 million to support non-public school students, according to a report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. The report says the state will spend over $40 million more this year on non-public school students than it did just four years ago.

Click here to read the full report. 

Craig Thiel, a senior research associate with the Citizens Research Council, says the money is largely going to the "shared time" program.

"The program allows non-public school students to enroll in elective classes at their public schools," Thiel says.

For instance, students from a private school could take a French class at their neighborhood public school, so long as that school district participates in "shared time." 

"It is definitely a win-win for the participating non-public schools and the public schools," he says. "If there are any [parties who are disadvantaged] it's those public schools that aren't participating in the program."

Thiel says the state's School Aid Fund finances the "shared time" enrollment.

For the most recent year, about $60 per student per year is how much the program costs, according to Citizens Research Council. 

Thiel says over a third of public school districts are participating in the shared time program.