Thursday, January 30, 2014

Michigan's charter schools want equitable funding

Gov. Rick Snyder said funding for primary and secondary education is up about $660 per student since he took office but the Michigan Association of Public School Academies says charter schools are not getting enough of it.

The association is asking its supporters to pressure the legislature to eliminate what it says is an $1,800 funding disparity for charter school students.   

“All children deserve to be treated fairly and given the same opportunity to find a great school and get a great education,” said Dan Quisenberry, president of MAPSA. 

MAPSA is helping its supporters send a message to lawmakers.

Snyder said in his recent state-of-the-state address that the state has picked up some of the retirement costs local districts previously had been carrying.

The Associated Press reported that excluding federal, preschool and adult education dollars but factoring in the state’s direct share of the retirement bill, Snyder’s budget office estimates state funding was $6,818 per student when he arrived in Lansing and is $7,484 today, a 10 percent jump.

The governor’s critics like to focus on the basic school grant level instead.
Snyder in his first year helped roll it back by $300 per pupil and locked in a previous $170 cut, AP reported. The grant has been raised $180 since and is currently $7,026, about 1.7 percent less than in 2010-11, the last budget approved by former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency.

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