LANSING — According to a new study the state of Michigan has allocated less than any other state on education spending growth over the past 20 years, in large part because of tax cuts.
That was the key takeaway of Michigan State University researchers, who found that school revenue was 82 percent of its 1995 totals, a decline unparalleled by any other state.
Total revenue for schools in the Great Lakes State declined by 30 percent since 2002 when adjusted for inflation, according to the report. Michigan still ranks at the bottom for growth in math and reading proficiency.
“Michigan has tried to improve schools on the cheap, focusing on more accountability and school choice,” said David Arsen, MSU professor of education policy and lead author of the study. “To make those policies effective, they have to be matched with adequate funding. We have been kidding ourselves to think we can move forward while cutting funding for schools.”
Per-student spending is middle of the pack nationally, the Detroit Free Press noted. A plan to transform K-12 funding is outlined in Arsen’s report Michigan School Finance at the Crossroads: A Quarter-Century of State Control.