Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission Calls for Weighted Funding Formula for K-12 Schools

June 25, 2021

Contact: Vicki Levengood, levengoodv@michigan.gov

LANSING, MI-Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, has issued the following statement in response to the state House budget proposal that would increase per-pupil funding for K-12 schools in Michigan.

"The 2022 budget plan, approved by the state House, includes an unprecedented boost in funding for K-12 schools and represents an optimal opportunity for closing the funding gap between districts statewide. It has the potential to improve the quality of education in districts that have been historically underfunded, many of which have a significant percentage of students of color. While the funding increase is a welcome and needed change, closing the achievement gap will require more than an across-the-board increase for every school - the currently well-financed and those that have been neglected for decades. As we outlined in our report, Education Equity in Michigan, Michigan has long failed to provide adequate funding for educationally at-risk children. Making sure every child has the opportunity to succeed requires an intentional focus on building equity into the funding formula. We must factor in an additional percentage to address the needs of students living in poverty, those who require special education, or are English language learners. By instituting a weighted funding system, where poverty is a factor in a school's special education and English learning status, we can help level the playing field for schools that for too long have been asked to do much more than their wealthier counterparts, with much less."

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

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