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New study will look at costs of educating Michigan children

Jan 2, 2018

Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Later this month, a new report detailing how much it costs to educate students in Michigan will be released.

Nearly a year ago, the governor’s 21st Century Education Commission reported Michigan needs to “invest with urgency” in some “high-yield” education strategies or risk falling behind.

A 2016 study estimated the average total base cost of educating a child in Michigan at $8,667 per year.   Most Michigan school districts receive between $7300 and $8000 in state per-pupil funding every year, though a few districts get significantly more.

For months, education experts and business leaders have been examining what it would cost to educate all students, including those with special needs.

“The system’s broken,” says Bob Moore, the project manager for the School Finance Research project. “Let’s get this information right.  Let’s provide it to people all over the state and then let’s work together to move Michigan forward towards a goal that makes sense.”

Moore says school funding is very complex. 

He says their final report will not make specific recommendations for increasing per pupil funding. However, he hopes decision makers will use it as a guide when making decisions about future state education spending.