Wednesday, December 2, 2009

State School Funding

Blogging For Michigan has a summary of, and commentary on, the EPIC/MRA poll that says school funding in Michigan is too low. So if that is what you were thinking, well--it's nice to know you are not alone.

This morning, I heard Gov. Jennifer Granholm saying on the radio that school funding mechanisms need to be changed because so much of the money for our School Aid Fund comes from the sales tax, which does not do well "in a recessionary environment." Oh, so that's what we're in? No, seriously--hasn't that always been obvious? Those of you who voted for Proposal A way back in 1994, what were you thinking? (The rest of you escape my words of wrath.)

The Federal Race to the Top has a lot of people (educators and legislators) talking about possible legislation changes to qualify for a large chunk of change. But some of the required legislation changes are not so good, in my opinion. Take, for example, linking teacher pay and performance to the way kids and schools perform on test scores. Considering that test scores have repeatedly been shown to correlate most closely with family income, that strikes me as a dumb idea. The vast majority of school funding (by vast, I mean over 90%) comes from state and local sources, so it's interesting--but not necessarily in a good way--that the federal government is coming in with a way to force change, but not providing long-term funding.

Oh yeah--thank a teacher? Send in nominations, please.

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