Zack Shandell and Brett Hollander on Educational Funding Disparity

Context

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

Proposal A, a 1994 vote for a new school funding system after frustration with high taxes, is very relevant and relatable to the ideas discussed in this proposal. Proposal A includes three major alterations to the way education was originally funded in the state. Instead of using local property taxes, a state education tax established the idea of “per-pupil funding.” The state sales tax was increased by 2 cents which are dedicated to education funding. And, finally, the state created a baseline for funding of the lowest funded districts in the state in an attempt to even the playing field. Although no one is arguing with the intentions of proposal A which are to close the achievement gap, there are some serious flaws. The state tax corollary to proposal A means that education funding changes at the whim of the Michigan economy, which has not done well in the past decade, to say the least. Additionally, when school attendance decreases, per pupil funding should increase, as there are less students to address, yet this hasn’t been the case despite the state’s declining enrollment in public schools. Finally, proposal A is, and was intended as, a way to cut taxes, not a way to increase funding, as it should be intended.

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 proposal will have a significant impact on Michigan students across the state, and could possibly influence a trend amongst many other states nationwide. By providing tax cuts to automotive and other manufacturers across the state of Michigan and incentivizing these corporations to donate funds towards the state’s K-12 education fund, the state can then help distribute funding a bit more easily, and attempt to even the playing field by narrowing the educational achievement gap and allowing lower income students the same opportunities as higher income students. By doing this, regardless of economic status, background, or skin color, students in Michigan will be put in a better position to succeed through the state’s public educational system. Receiving a quality education at the k-12 stage will allow students to be more prepared for higher education, and will ultimately allow for lower income students to receive better occupations in the future, breaking them free from the cycle of poverty that has dominated Detroit and the state of Michigan in general for generations.

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

We first became aware of these issues during the first DOCS discussion ever created in Michigan Student Caucus titled School Finance Problem. This discussion described the incident that occurred in 1993 when the Kalkaska School District had to close its schools three months early due to poor funding. In an attempt to save the schools within the district, the Kalkaska School Board proposed to increase the local property tax rate. However, this was rejected as the citizens of Kalkaska would not be able to handle an increase in annual tax. Therefore, the school system in that district failed, and these students were left without a school. Furthermore, we believed that this was one of the most important issues in the state of Michigan that needed to be solved, and we were inspired to think realistic and creative way to do so.

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

For our service activity, we both volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan. There, we interacted with many young, mostly African American teenagers and children from Ypsilanti and other even lower income areas of the state of Michigan. We often played basketball, board games, or even just spoke with the children who attended the club.  Being able to spend time with students who attend schools in less fortunate areas really provided us with great perspective into the lives of students during their extra-curricular activities, and what kind of effect school has on their lives. For example, in higher income districts, many students, when they first arrive home from school, prioritize homework and studying. This is not the case for many students in Ypsilanti and other areas of Southeastern Michigan. Many students either have their own jobs to help take a financial burden off their parents or are not assigned sufficient assignments that are thoroughly enforced by the school. Studying is also not as much of a priority. We met many kids that said they do not study for their exams at all. Obviously, schools in lower income areas do not prepare their students for college nearly as well as a school in a higher income area does. This is the main problem that feeds the cycle of poverty. College graduates in general make much more during their lifetime than do people who dropout of school. In this way, the public education k-12 system does not help students break from the cycle of poverty. In fact, from what we have learned from our time at the Boys and Girls club, education in lower income towns is prolonging this vicious cycle and needs to be enhanced in order to increase graduation rate and the quality of education.

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

Our video: Disparity in educational funding and quality

Consultations

CONSULTATION 1: Dean of students at Ross School of Business: Scott DeRue

Scott DeRue is the Dean of Students at the Ross School of Business. As Dean, he has a lot of interactions with admissions, the demographics and areas that apply and get accepted to the University of Michigan, and more. This consultation was specifically helpful in developing our main ideas for the proposal and learning more about the cycle of poverty and its effect on student progression into higher education. The video recording attached includes our conversation with Dean DeRue and the valuable insights he provided us with.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1l4JbxUFknFaHZ2c1NHM0tzRWc/view?usp=sharing

CONSULTATION 2: Matthew DePalo, First Year Mechanical Engineer at Ford Motor Company

Matthew DePalo is a first year mechanical engineer at Ford Motor Company. During our conversation with Mr. DePalo, we discussed how seriously automotive manufacturers in Detroit take corporate social responsibility. Mr. DePalo explained how a proposal like ours would be viewed by Ford, and how, as a major player in the Motor City, Ford is extremely motivated to give back to the Michigan community as much as they possibly can. As a mechanical engineer graduate from college, Matthew also stressed the importance of learning about mechanics early, and advised us to include the engineering/mechanics course additions as part of our proposal. Unfortunately, Mr. DePalo was uncomfortable being recorded, however, below you may see a summary of our consultation with him.

Questions we asked Matt and a summary of his answers based on notes we took during the consult.

1) How much does Ford Motor Company value their CSRs?

Ford Company truly believes in their corporate social responsibility. A company that generates so much revenue consistently should play a positive role in their surrounding community. It takes a lot more than simply generating revenue for a company to succeed, and one thing that is sometimes undervalued is a company’s image. Ford understands that they need to maintain a positive image to survive as a company.

2) Do you believe the city of Detroit is highly valued by the Ford Motor Company?

Yes, I do believe that because I believe that Ford values its history and its customers. Henry Ford established the Ford Motor Company in 1903 right in the city of Detroit. In my opinion, Ford has maintained its core values since that day. In addition, Ford definitely recognizes the importance of its consumers’ trust and respect.

3) As a mechanical engineer, do you believe that if students were to learn about these concepts at an earlier age that would help learn more complex topics in the future?

I strongly believe that understanding the fundamentals of physics would create a strong base to build upon. In my opinion, people that understand the basic principles of any subject will be able to gain a better grasp of the more difficult material in the future.

* We also discussed the importance of education, in general. The significance of creativity and the use of technology in the classroom. Finally, we discussed what makes a job at Ford so unique and appealing to someone studying mechanics at a young age.*

 

CONSULTATION 3: Pat Jenkins- Lead Teacher, Communication, Media and Public Policy Magnet, Skyline High School at Ann Arbor Public Schools

Pat Jenkins is a teacher at Skyline High School, an Ann Arbor public school. Ms. Jenkins conducted the MSC’s very first town hall meeting on creating media artifacts. After hearing Ms. Jenkins speak at this Town Hall, she seemed the perfect source into the problems with public schools in Michigan. This consultation provided great insight into the quality of education and how technology can aid in helping close the achievement gap in the state of Michigan.The video recording attached includes our conversation over the phone with Ms. Jenkins.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1l4JbxUFknFNnRic1Z2Uk5CbFk/view?usp=sharing    

Prospectus:

The cycle of poverty is, and has been, a pervasive problem in the United States for decades. More often than not, people who are raised and educated in poverty are more likely to remain in poverty later in life, and people who are raised in a wealthy environment are more likely to remain wealthy. Education is extremely important in the development of children, and disparities in areas like funding, quality of instructors, and the general environment greatly affect a child’s progress. In essence, because of this disparity, inequality is not only something ingrained in American socioeconomic culture, but is also a trend that is growing at a disquieting rate. In fact, according to Stanford’s report on US inequality cited below, since 1979, “only college graduates have experienced growth in median weekly earnings… high school dropouts, in contrast, have seen their real median weekly earnings decline by about 22%.” The rate of students dropping out of high school is far higher in areas of lower GDP throughout the nation. Furthermore, according to studies by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only 5% of Americans ages 25-34 whose parents didn’t graduate from high school have a college degree. While, the average across the 20 richest countries is around 20%.

In the state of Michigan, this problem is far more extreme. Michigan is the 11th lowest state in terms of income inequality. A recent article from The Detroit News states that “according to a long-awaited adequacy study... the state’s education finance system is becoming more unequal over time.” There has been a long standing gap between state and local funding per pupil that has created a giant divide between areas where local funding is a lot more substantial than in others. Further, the superintendent of Oakland schools in Michigan explained to the Detroit Free Press, “The way we fund Michigan schools is broken… Many Michigan districts are having to find ways to do more with less, and that is endangering the quality of education in our schools, making it even harder for districts to serve at-risk students, English language learners and students with other needs.” Clearly, this is a problem that needs to be addressed before income inequality in the state becomes any worse than it already is.  

http://inequality.stanford.edu/publications/20-facts-about-us-inequality-everyone-should-know

 

http://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2017/01/10/school-funding-michigan/96389942/

 

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/06/28/michigan-school-funding-unequal/86477080/

 

http://scalar.usc.edu/works/growing-apart-a-political-history-of-american-inequality/index


https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/business/economy/education-gap-between-rich-and-poor-is-growing-wider.html?_r=0  


Potential Solutions:

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

SOLUTION 1: Bigger Tax Cuts for Education Proceeds from Automobile Corporations in Michigan

One of the oldest and most sound components of US tax policy is the idea that corporations get tax breaks or deductions for making charitable donations and giving back to their communities. Additionally, the biggest industry in Michigan is, of course, the automobile industry. Michigan is the center of all US automobile production. More than 38,000 jobs have been added to the Michigan economy since 2010 from the automobile industry alone. Clearly, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler/Dodge, and Volkswagen all have a significant hold on the Michigan economy. By increasing these corporations’ tax breaks for donations to the State’s education fund and to local charter schools, Michigan State can incentivize these industry giants to bolster, and indeed improve Michigan’s education system and help begin evening the playing field. Michigan based automobile manufacturers generated over $400 Billion in revenue last year alone, so a cash infusion from these companies could go far in closing the achievement gap from district to district. Furthermore, giving tax breaks to the industry that has done so well with job creation, especially in the state of Michigan, would help revitalize the economy and create even more jobs that people living in poorer districts really need.  

 

SOLUTION 2: Charter Schools

A charter school is a school that operates outside of the public school system, almost in a private school manner, but with ample government funding. Many charter schools are located in areas where the public school system is poorly funded and the district is made up of generally lower class families. The state of Michigan has had a history of problems with charter schools before, so we believe that the system must be implemented in a very different way than it has been done in the past. The current secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, attempted to emphasize Detroit charter schools over the public schooling system when she was the chair of the Michigan Republican party, but was too eager, and Detroit ended up with some of the highest rates of charter schools closure nationwide. There is no doubt that charter schools are an effective way to implement quality education in towns that have poor public schooling systems, but the way charter schools need to be set up needs to change. One problem with Detroit charter schools is that they have a lack of accountability and not enough authority enforcing due dates, assignments, papers, and exams. By implementing tougher regulations and stricter courses, the charter program can be improved dramatically. Further, charter schools’ focus on special education programs needs to be improved by establishing more clearly superior outreach offices and designated classes for students of different levels. Finally, charter schools need to be more tightly monitored by local governments in order to make sure they are up to date and functioning correctly. With these changes, if the state increases funding and starts building more charter schools, the per pupil funding in the state will be far more even, and students in poor districts will begin to receive the quality education they deserve.

 

SOLUTION 3: Implementing tablets

In the State of Michigan, tablets can be the key to narrowing the  gap between poorer and richer districts. According to Pro/Con’s section on tablets and textbooks, students who used a digital version of an Algebra 1 textbook for Apple’s IPad in California’s Riverside Unified School District in 2012 scored 20% higher on standardized tests vs. students who learned with textbooks. Furthermore, tablets allow teachers to better customize a student’s learning experience and make the learning process more efficient as students can update new information instantly. According to an article published on Stanford’s News Center, “technology-when implemented properly- can produce significant gains in student achievement and boost engagement, particularly among students most at risk.” In conclusion, these tablets could significantly improve a student’s ability to learn, especially in less fortunate areas where students do not have access to as many resources. One concern we have is that higher cost may have inverse effects and widen the educational gap. Therefore, the state government would need to create some baseline regulation, requiring equal per pupil funding per piece of technology, in order to ensure equal opportunity.

  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.

Topic Coordinator Elijah Akhtarzad commented some great advice on our proposal that will be extremely helpful if given the opportunity to present in front of the Michigan state Legislature. He cited a description of Detroit Public School infrastructure by a public school counselor named Lakia Wilson. Wilson explained how “toxic black mold,” dangerous playground conditions, and more contribute to horrible, unsafe learning environments that definitely engender some of the problems of underfunded schools and their link with lower graduation rates and lack of learning and success in the public school system. This is an undeniable and significant problem that funds should be allocated towards, and we included that in our proposal when indicating where the funds we collect would go towards.

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 put in a lot of time and thought to the research process of this proposal. Initially, we wanted to understand the extent of the problem of educational funding in the state of Michigan. Therefore, we read many articles, which highlighted the fact that there was a massive disparity in funding between wealthier and poorer school districts. Next, we wanted to find concrete research to show if that educational advantage that students had at an early age affected their potential to succeed in the future. We found a ton of information proving this idea; therefore, we concluded that there was not only a disparity in funding in the state of Michigan, but that disparity has led to an achievement gap and a cycle of poverty that has been very difficult for the citizens of Michigan to break out of. Furthermore, we decided that the best way to solve this problem was to find a way to improve the educational experience for these students in poorer districts and figure out a way to get these less fortunate students access to better resources. While posting one day on an interesting discussion created about tablets vs. textbooks in the classroom. Coincidentally, we ended up commenting on each other’s posts and having a long discussion about the costs of implementation and the benefits that could arise as a result of tablets in the classroom. This discussion actually inspired us to do more research on the topic, and eventually, make it a solution to our proposal. Additionally, there was another discussion on MSC focusing on the auto industry and how important it was for the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan. Therefore, we wanted to come up with a solution that involved this industry as well. Eventually, this led us to our idea of granting tax breaks to these companies based on the donations they made to the educational system in the state. Initially, we came up with a third solution that involved insituting charter schools. However, after more research and thought, we realized that this third solution would have just diluted the other solutions and make our proposal too complicated. Therefore, we got rid of the charter schools section in our formal proposal. After finalizing our proposal, we needed to find good consultations. We decided our first consultant would be Pat Jenkins because we both attending that Town Hall meeting that she led, and we felt that she could bring a new and more insightful perspective as a teacher of Skyline High School at Ann Arbor Public Schools. Pat Jenkins told us that she believes technology could make a huge difference in the classroom. However, she stressed the importance of “how the technology is used to expand thinking and expand what is happening in the classroom….to help students to increase their critical thinking”. In addition, she also thought that technology could help teachers in their grading process and aid in maintaining the creativity of students. Pat added more depth to our thought process and proposal because she encouraged us to think about how tablets could help students think more creatively. In addition, we decided to consult the Dean of the Ross School of Business, Scott Derue, who aided us as well by questioning our proposal and the reasons why we chose the auto industry, instead of other large businesses in Michigan. This caused us to debate for a while if we still wanted to stick with the auto industry. Finally, we concluded that the auto industry was just too important to the city of Detroit, and Detroit desperately needed a revitalization and this may be a way to do so. Lastly, we spoke with Matt DePalo, who is a first year mechanical engineer at Ford. Matt stressed how much Ford values their corporate social responsibility. He also discussed how helpful it would be for students to learn mechanical engineering at an early age, which we decided to incorporate in our solution.

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.?

The process with which we wrote this proposal was delegated with painstaking detail so that both of us (Brett Hollander and Zack Shandell) did an equal and fair amount of work. Listed below are the sections delegated to each of us.

Zack Shandell:

  • Research on current Michigan Law related to this proposal

  • Summary of reaction from TC Elijah Akhtarzad

  • Author contributions section

  • First  and Second “whereas” clauses

  • First three “resolved” clauses

  • First “counterargument”

  • Summaries of consultations with Pat Jenkins and Scott DeRue

Brett Hollander:

  • Proposal relevance / issue research sections

  • Research process description

  • Preambulatory descriptions of “whereas” and “resolved” sections

  • Third “whereas” clause

  • Last three “resolved” clauses

  • 2nd and 3rd “counterarguments”

  • Matt DePalo consultation summary

Joint venture work between Brett and Zack

  • Each of us were present for every consultation conducted

  • Media artifact done equally

  • Costs and funding

  • Preliminary research done together

===FORMAL PROPOSAL=== Preambulatory clauses

In the state of Michigan and nationwide, the cycle of poverty, or the generation-to-generation continued struggles and lack of educational and financial success in lower income families and lower income areas, is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The achievement gap, or the variance in educational success due to income inequality, contributes further to the cycle of poverty. In general, wealthier students progress further through the educational process and into higher education than do lower income students, and college graduates end up earning more than students who drop out of school, no matter the level.

WHEREAS....

According to USA today, in 2017, “Americans with no more than a high school diploma have fallen so far behind college graduates in their economic lives that the earnings gap between college grads and everyone else has reached its widest point on record.” Students who graduate from college earn 56% more on average than high school graduates. At the national level, the ratio of whites who graduate from high school as opposed to African Americans who graduate from high school is at an astounding 2:1. In the state of Michigan, African Americans make up large percentages of low income areas such as Detroit, where African Americans account for 84.3% of the population, and in Flint, where they account for 59.5%. In this way, African Americans in low income areas of Michigan are locked into the cycle of poverty, keeping their future generations in a continued cycle of struggles, low income, and poor quality education.

WHEREAS....

Only 18.1% of students in the state of Michigan meet ACT college readiness benchmarks in all subjects. According to The Education Trust of the Midwest, “there has been little to no progress in narrowing dramatic achievement gaps that leave low-income students and students of color far behind their white or more affluent peers.” Hazel Park School District, in Oakland county, has a low graduation rate of 35.98% to go along with its median income of $43,584 per family. Bloomfield Hills, also in Oakland County, on the other hand, the 6th wealthiest town in Michigan, is the home to Bloomfield Hills High School. Bloomfield Hills High School has a 98% graduation rate to go along with its median income of $163,462. Clearly, there is a correlation between median household income and graduation rates from public high schools in the area, which also have a correlation with future earnings depending on whether or not that student goes on to graduate from higher education institutions or not.

WHEREAS....

According to an article published by the Detroit Free Press, “Michigan, already sliding toward the bottom nationally for fourth-grade reading performance on a rigorous national exam, is projected to fall to 48th place by 2030 if the state does nothing to improve education.” Further, according to a report published in 2015 by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Michigan ranks 41st in fourth-grade reading, 42nd in fourth-grade math, 31st in eighth-grade reading, and 38th in eighth grade math. Detroit Public Schools also rank completely last nationwide amongst big urban centers in America for African American performance in eighth-grade math. Bloomfield Hills, on the other hand, is nationally ranked and has received a Bronze medal for outstanding performance on state and nation required exams and on how they prepare their students for college. Clearly, the disparity district to district in Michigan is a real threat.

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....

1. It is no secret that large automotive manufacturers like Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler are huge contributors to the Michigan Economy. So labeled “the Motor City,” Detroit is home to many automotive manufacturers who have added more than 38,000 since 2010 (now employ more than 230,000 employees nationwide) and generated more than $400 billion in revenue last year alone. Ford, for example, paid an effective income tax rate of 32.2%. This represents a large chunk of Ford’s 2016 revenue of $151.8 billion. These companies will be highly motivated to cut this tax rate in any way possible. By incentivizing these automotive manufacturers with up to a .25% tax cut on their state income tax, the state can help grow their K-12 education fund. These funds will go SPECIFICALLY to school districts in areas with median incomes below $50,000. In this way, the even playing field will actually be a realistic goal in sight in the state of Michigan.

2. We choose the auto industry, not only because it is one of the largest industries in the state of Michigan, but because many families do not hold such a high opinion of this industry. The auto manufacturing industry needs to gain great appeal. If not, many families will continue to believe that there is not much upward mobility within this field and less people will enter, meaning less jobs creation. In our opinion, if these auto companies contributed to building the educational systems then they would become more attractive, and more people would consider joining the workforce. Also, the citizens of Detroit have lost pride in their city and most citizens have left. As a result, 36% of Detroit properties went through foreclosure from 2005 to 2014; 139,699 total homes foreclosed; and 76% of 84,000 properties on the city’s blight list are foreclosures. The city needs to bring back the pride that citizens used to have for the city. By showing that the industry that built the city of Detroit in the first place is still thriving, then this may attract many people back to the city.

3. Not only will this money go into the K-12 education fund, but it will be focused specifically on funding technology and introducing tablets into classrooms. In the State of Michigan, tablets can be the key to narrowing the gap between poorer and richer districts. Students who used a digital version of an Algebra 1 textbook for Apple’s IPad in California’s Riverside Unified School District in 2012 scored 20% higher on standardized tests vs. students who learned with textbooks. Furthermore, tablets allow teachers to better customize a student’s learning experience and make the learning process more efficient as students can update new information instantly. According to an article published on Stanford’s News Center, “technology-when implemented properly- can produce significant gains in student achievement and boost engagement, particularly among students most at risk.” In conclusion, tablets could significantly improve a student’s ability to learn, especially in less fortunate areas where students do not have access to as many resources. The state government would need to create some baseline regulation, requiring equal per pupil funding per piece of technology, in order to ensure equal opportunity. In order to incentivize automotive manufacturers, these pieces of technology bought with the money gained from the tax cut will be branded with “Ford” or “GM” logos, so that each student goes home to their parents with a tablet that can be used as an advertisement for the student’s parents (discussed further below).

4. The money from the tax cuts will not just go towards funding enhanced technology, however. By hiring more teachers, the ratio of students per teacher will go down, creating a more closely concentrated, monitored, and enforced education system that will ensure better performance and more high quality learning and retention of information. Office Hours will be more accessible, teachers will personally know more of their student’s learning styles, and assignments will be more closely enforced and scrutinized, allowing for more accurate constructive criticism for each student. Additionally, the funds will go towards making some necessary repairs to classrooms and infrastructure of schools throughout Detroit that are falling apart, as seen in our media artifact attached in this proposal. In order to create a safe and motivating learning environment, the infrastructure of our schools needs to be sound. Basic repairs will be necessary to foster safer and more enjoyable learning.

5. According to the Detroit Chamber, “The state has 15 universities and colleges with nationally ranked undergraduate engineering programs; and more than 650 automotive-focused programs at the post-secondary level.” In this way, Ford, GM, and Fiat-Chrysler will be highly motivated to take this tax cut. In order to maximize their return on investment, the money they invest in Michigan’s public education will go towards educating the future engineers and employees at their major manufacturing plants. In this way, some of the money from this tax cut can also go towards engineering and mechanics courses for students so that they can generate a basic interest for the subjects that drive the automotive industry. Therefore, these auto manufacturing companies will be, essentially, training the next generation that will potential work for their companies in the future.

6. In order to further incentivize these auto manufacturing companies to donate, we propose that the technology that schools receive as a result of donations will be branded. For instance, if Ford were to make a massive donation and that money went towards implementing tablets in an entire school district than those tablets would have the Ford logo located somewhere on it. This would not only illustrate that Ford values their corporate social responsibility, but it would also mean free advertising for the company.

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. The amount of funds received from this proposal is completely dependent on the automotive companies’ decision to partake in this tax cut. If two companies, but not all, decide to take this tax cut, the policies the government can initiate with this program depends on how much money the state receives.

2. Many people argue against the use of technology in the classroom and believe that the use tablets could create more of a distraction and inhibit the learning of students.

3. Some may argue that the creation of some baseline regulation to ensure equal per pupil funding per piece of technology may be unrealistic as many wealthier districts will simply invest more in technology for students if they believe that instituting tablets and other technological resources will make a difference in a student’s educational experience and chance of success.

Costs and funding:

As with most proposals that will engender extreme change to our societal norms, this proposal does not come free. Obviously, because this proposal’s main basis is a motivated tax cut of sorts, the state will have lost tax revenue from these major automobile manufacturer’s corporate tax. However, this is a more than worthwhile incentive for these companies and sacrifice for the government in order to stimulate the public school system in Michigan. This tax cut therefore can be viewed as an investment that will help improve the resources and quality of schools in poorer districts throughout the state. In this way, for the most part, the auto manufacturers participating in this tax cut will be funding most of the proposal. For these manufacturers, the proposal is also a long term investment for them in future labor and in advertising on the technology implemented by their funds. Making this proposal a desirable alternative for automotive manufacturers might pose some problems, but ultimately the chance to improve their company’s corporate social responsibility image will be too much to pass up on, especially with the added benefits of their investment in engineering and mechanics classes at earlier ages, advertising at the public school level, and more as indicated in our consultation with Matt DePalo.

Calculations:

Example: Ford Motor Company

Decrease in Tax Revenue (0.1% tax cut on state income tax for every $40 million donated-- up to 0.25% tax cut)

  • Best Case: $100 M Donation from Ford

    • 2016 Revenue: $151.8 B

    • Taxes: (32%): $48.576 B

    • Tax Cut: 0.25% x 48.576 B = $121.44 M

  • Average Case: $80 M Donation

    • 2016 Revenue: $151.8 B

    • Taxes (32%): $48.576 B

    • Tax Cut: 0.20% x $48.576 B = $97.152 M

  • Worst Case: $40 M Donation

    • 2016 Revenue: $151.8 B

    • Taxes (32%): $48.576 B

    • Tax Cut: 0.1% x $48.576 B = $48.576 M

  • *Best Case Scenario: Ford, GM, Chrysler, and possibly even Volkswagen contribute: approximately $400 M total*

  • *Average Case Scenario: Ford, GM, Chrysler and Volkswagen contribute: approximately $225M total*

  • Worst Case Scenario: Ford, GM, and Chrysler contribute: approximately $120M total*

Allocation of Potential Funding

  • 35 counties with median family income below $50,000

  • In these counties, there are an average of 3 public schools, with a total size of an average 1854 students (found on National Center for Education Statistics) total per county (each tablet will cost approximately $325 per pupil):

    • Amount of Cash Required for Tablets: 1854 students x $325 per tablet x 35 = $21,089,250 + $50M towards interactive learning technologies

    • Renovations: (50% of remaining funds after technology allocation)

      • Best: $165 M

      • Average: $75 M

      • Worst: $25 M (assuming Volkswagen does not partake)

    • Adding engineering/mechanical courses to public education curriculum: (50% of remaining funds after technology allocation)

      • Best: $165 M

      • Average: $75 M

      • Worst: $25 M (assuming Volkswagen does not partake)

References:

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

http://www.detroitchamber.com/econdev/chamber-initiatives/michauto-universal-name/the-auto-industry-in-michigan/

https://www.arbor.edu/posts/2015/08/12/benefits-low-student-teacher-ratio/

http://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2016/05/18/michigan-students-sliding-toward-bottom/84535876/

https://midwest.edtrust.org/press_release/huge-achievement-gaps-remain-in-michigan-high-school-performance/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/12/pay-gap-between-college-grads-and-everyone-else-record/96493348/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/plight-african-americans-u-s-2015/

http://www.mlive.com/education/index.ssf/2014/04/a_brief_history_of_proposal_a.html

http://www.senate.michigan.gov/sfa/departments/datacharts/dck12_schoolfundingbasics.pdf

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/special-reports/2015/05/14/detroit-abandoned-homes-volume-terrifying/27237787/

https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2001/overview/table05.asp

 


 

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  • 10
Total votes: 31