Funding per student in the state of Michigan is lagging far behind, according to data shared by Superintendent George Stockero to the Copper Country Intermediate School Board this week.
Stockero talked about the School Finance Research Collaborative, which recently completed Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study that answers the question: “What does it cost to educate a child?”
The study determined it costs a minimum $9,590 to educate a regular education K-12 student in Michigan.
Researchers determined that funding in addition to the base cost should be provided for Special Education, English Language Learners, students living in poverty and Career and Technical Education.
The study also determined that the cost to educate a preschool student is $14,155.
The study stated that transportation needs further study, but recommended $731 per student rider to start.
Stockero then shared with the board a recent Michigan State University Education Policy report. The MSU report looked at school funding since the passage of Proposal “A.”
The report stated that K-12 Funding has declined 30% between 2002 & 2015. Michigan ranked dead last in total education revenue growth since the passage of Proposal “A,” after adjusting for inflation. “At-Risk” funding has dropped 60% and Michigan’s state government covers only one-third of the costs for federally required special education.
Stockero then finished his presentation with Governor Whitmer’s proposed Education Budget. The Governor proposed to raise the per pupil student foundation by $180, which would put the minimum foundation at $8,501.
The governor also proposed increases in both Special Education and “At-Risk” funding, and requested funding to triple the number of state-funded literacy coaches.
Superintendent Stockero told the board that he believes Governor Whitmer’s K-12 budget shows that she has read the School Finance Research Collaborative report as well as the Michigan State University Education Policy report, both of which stress a need to improve Michigan’s K-12 funding.
Michigan State University Education Policy report http://education.msu.edu/ed-policyphd/pdf/Michigan-School-Finance-at-the-Crossroads-A-Quarter-Center-of-State-Control.pdf
The board heard from Special Ed Director Kristina Penfold, Special Ed Supervisor Katrina Carlson and Superintendent Stockero, who all praised the CCISD staff members who worked very hard moving classrooms, cleaning and reorganizing the special education classrooms that were affected by the Barkell Elementary roof collapse. Stockero told the board “we have an extremely dedicated, hardworking staff that we are very proud to work with every day.”
The board was also very impressed and made a resolution thanking staff and sent each staff member a thank you letter signed by the board. At the end of the board meeting, the Copper Country ISD board did their annual evaluation of Superintendent Stockero. The board unanimously gave Stockero a “Highly Effective” rating and thanked Stockero for his hard work and dedication to the Copper Country ISD as well as all students in the three county area. Stockero’s contract was renewed for another two years.
In other action, the Board:
- Nominated the following individuals for the annual Copper Country Association of School Boards awards: Heather Mroz, Coordinator of Social Skills Behavior Outreach Services, for the Outstanding Education Employee Award; Janel Summers, Autism Coordinator/Instructional Coach, for the School Service Award; and William Kotajarvi, Copper Country Learning Center Student, for the Student Leadership Award.
- Nominated Margaret Myllyoja for the Copper Country Association of School Boards Community Education Leadership Award.
- Hired Annie Klein as a Speech Language Pathologist, beginning the 2019-2020 school year.