Path to education funding reform fraught with deals from the past

Coalitions of business, labor, educators and philanthropy such as Launch Michigan and the School Finance Research Collaborative have been pushing for a rewrite of Michigan’s school finance law that weighs the cost of a child’s needs.

Multiple studies have found that students with special education needs who require more individualized instruction and those who come from poorer families without as much educational support cost more to educate.

School Finance Research Collaborative’s 2017 study found the average cost of educating a K-12 student in Michigan is $9,590. Four- and 5-year-olds in preschool cost $14,155 annually, the study found.

That group did not identify a funding source for filling the nearly $1,500-per-student gap in funding for the majority of school districts that receive the minimum foundation grant.

The hot-iron issue of raising taxes for education was tabled headed into this election year — and essentially scrapped for the foreseeable future after the

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