Problems with Funding in Education

Context

Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Act 92 of 2005- Section 388.1929- Section 9 numbers 1&4

Except as otherwise provided in this act, a school district may borrow from the state an amount not greater than the difference between the proceeds of the school district's computed millage and the amount necessary to pay principal and interest on its qualified bonds, including any necessary allowances for estimated tax delinquencies.

The state treasurer shall maintain separate accounts for each school district on the books and accounts of this state noting the qualified bond, the related qualified loans, the final payment date of the bonds, the final mandatory repayment date of the qualified loans, and the interest rate accrued on the loans.

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

This will make a difference in the lives of students because there will more students available for a higher education and give them more opportunities to get their degree. The school will be safer and better run, the children will feel more ready to learn. If we fix this issue, it will fix grades of students by improving them. They deserve a higher education and with getting a higher education, they are bound to do better once they complete high school/ college.

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

Researched problems in Michigan and how to fix them, learned about it on phone at home.

Consultations

Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1: Principal Schrock- Pay taxes and held by the government and is redistributed but not equally. Also comes from the local economy. 65% of the money goes to the staff. When economy isn’t doing good in Michigan the funding goes down.

CONSULTATION 2: School Board Treasurer, didn't get a response.

CONSULTATION 3: Howell Schools Teacher- $250 out of $500 out of pocket, had to pay to renew class for $850. Unions have a lot of negotiating powers, they try to keep communications open with the administration. They also meet with the school board and superintendent, bring lawyers if necessary. More often they give up things that will hurt them less.

 

Prospectus:

Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)

Michigan schools paid about $9,568 per student during the 2013-2014 school year. 61% of that went directly to the classroom to pay the teachers and supplies for the classroom. 10% of that went to support services, such as librarians, guidance counselors, and paraprofessionals.The remaining went to the administrators (12%), operating and maintaining the building (10%), school buses (4%), and miscellaneous expenses (3%). For this school year, (2016-2017),  schools are set to receive an allowance between $7,511 and $8,229 per pupil. The state doesn’t distribute the funding evenly between the schools in the state. It all depends on how the local economy is fairing. When the economy in the state isn’t doing well the funding for schools goes down.


 

Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: Encouragement of more school fundraisers

SOLUTION 2: Cut back on some programs in the state

SOLUTION 3: For the Count Days that take place in the fall and spring, give a cap on what you can fund for schools.

 

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

Allie

It sounds like you guys are off to a good start with your consultations.  As far as for your third one, I think it would be a good idea to consult with a state policy maker in the education realm.  I know that may seem like a difficult person to get in contact with, but I think you should be able to get in contact with someone on Howell’s School board or someone on the City Council.  This person will be able to offer you a unique perspective on the decision making that goes on between stakeholders when creating policies that affect schools.

As far as solutions, I think before you narrow in on solutions you need to consider the causes creating problems in the education system.  Additionally, I think you need to focus on one major problem in the education system.  It will be easier to write a proposal about just one of these issues.  When thinking of a solution you should consider what is the root causes of these issues and how it can be solved.  For example, if you choose to focus on funding you should think about ways schools could get more funding and where the money would come from.

 

Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.

We had to first decide what part of funding was the issue we wanted to tackle, funding toward enrollment or other things. We decided to talk to a teacher because we wanted to know how much she pays out of pocket, the money funding doesn’t cover. We also talked to the school board treasurer to find out where the funded money goes and how they handle it. The last person we wanted to speak to was our school principal to see how our own school handles the money and what we spend it on. We researched all about the laws Michigan has in place and how it used to be. Our group was saddened and disappointed in some schools and where they put the money while other poverty filled communities don’t get as much. We knew we needed to try to fix this issue, people don’t deserve to fight through the education system.

Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?

Logan and John- Solution team

Sarah and Alaina- Problem Team, Michigan Legislature

Amanda and Madeline- Consultations and counter-arguments


 

===FORMAL PROPOSAL===

The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS.... Too many problems that need to be fixed which dries out the budget.

WHEREAS.... School classrooms are rundown, having technical difficulties and need fixing.

WHEREAS....Schools are used to getting grants from the states. This in badly managed schools leads to money being put in places that does not specifically help the students.

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED.... Raise money using state-wide fundraisers and encourage more fundraisers in schools.

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. Budget cuts could potentially make parents pay more for their child to attend school.

2. We don’t have enough in the state budget from property and local taxes to give more to schools.

3.Schools already get a major amount of money, and that money is sometimes poorly spent in some school districts. So why should the government keep putting more money into schools.

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

Spending government money on schools has always been a huge part of the State and national budgets. In Michigan 14 billion was spent on education, and that’s still not enough. Schools are failing their kids, this might be because schools are misappropriating funds, or that is just not enough. The majority of the extra funding that could be put into the budget would come from putting a cap on count day funding, cut back on state programs, or more school fundraisers that incorporate the entire community. The only people that would object to our funding ideas would be schools who use the extra money from count day not for the students, or community who don’t like more fundraisers.

References:

These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.

Michigan Legislature- http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ctnwsndwtac55od4xgg4chmw))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-388-1929

Michigan State budget office-

http://www.michigan.gov/budget/0,4538,7-157-40794-139074--F,00.html
 

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Total votes: 26

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