Study: Michigan in bottom 5 for equitable school funding

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is among 16 states where the lowest-poverty school districts receive less state and local funding than the highest-poverty districts do — a 5-percentage point disparity that ranks fifth-worst nationally, a study said Thursday.

The report from Education Trust-Midwest, a Royal Oak-based advocacy group, is the latest to urge the state to provide K-12 funding based on student need and significantly boost spending on low-income students, English language learners and those with disabilities.

Funding for students from low-income families should be at least double what is allocated for those from higher-income backgrounds and 75% to 100% more for English learners, according to the study. In Michigan, an additional 11.5% in state and local funds goes to low-income students.

The report also recommended moving to a uniform base funding amount, known as the foundation allowance, to eliminate inequities between districts.