Mixed News for Students in New Michigan Education Budget, Especially for Low-Income Students and Students of Color

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By Brian Gutman

Michigan’s new budget provides reasons for worry and celebration for students – especially for low-income students and students of color.

Equitable access to rigorous instruction is one of the most important levers for raising achievement for low-income students and students of color, research shows.  Yet Michigan opened up an opportunity to stop all of Michigan public schools’ implementation of one of the most proven strategies for improving rigor in high-poverty schools when it directed the Michigan Department of Education to issue an RFP for a statewide summative assessment for grades 3-7 in Math and ELA and to also issue an RFP for not less than three benchmark assessments.  The RFP will be completed later this year.

In better news, there are budget wins for greater investment in at-risk funding, bilingual education and the foundation allowance.

Here’s a breakdown of the budget details voted out by the Conference Committee on School Aid last week:

  • Raising the minimum foundation allowance from $7,511 to $7,631 per pupil and the state maximum from $8,229 to $8,289 per pupil;
  • Increasing the At-Risk fund by $120 million for a total of $499 million;
  • Increasing the Bilingual/English Language Learners fund from $1.2 million to $6 million;
  • Providing $2.5 million for the Michigan Department of Education to develop a statewide value added growth and projection analytics system;
  • Increasing early literacy funding from $24.9 million to $29.4 million; and
  • Adding new assessment language directing the Michigan Department of Education to issue an RFP for a statewide summative assessment for grades 3-7 in Math and ELA and to also issue an RFP for not less than three benchmark assessments.

The full House and Senate is expected to vote on the budget in the next couple of weeks. After that, the budget bill heads to Governor Snyder for his consideration. #EdtrustMidwest #ESSA #Mileg

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