The state’s education chief says money for early childhood education and community colleges needs to be part of fixing Michigan’s school funding system. Mike Flanagan is the Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction and leads the state Department of Education.
He spoke today at the first public hearing held by Governor Rick Snyder’s workgroup that’s devising a school funding proposal. The governor wants a system that rewards proficiency.
Flanagan says that won’t happen if the state doesn’t find a way to offer universal early childhood learning.
"We spend a billion dollars per grade and we spend nothing on early childhood, and we wonder why the results are exactly the same, and we blame the teachers, we blame the state superintendent, we blame the parent for not reading to them enough, and the bottom line is, we should blame the system first and foremost," he said.
Flanagan says every student should also be guaranteed a year or two of community college or its equivalent.
The school funding workgroup will spend the summer working on its recommendations.