Study offers financial, policy road map for Michigan education reform

By cori

Tight budgets likely are stunting learning in Michigan classrooms. And while there are policy steps that can help, Michigan won’t become a top-10 education state without changes in state funding and more cooperation among groups with a stake in public education in Michigan.

That’s the conclusion of an exhaustive analysis of Michigan’s public schools conducted by Public Sector Consultants, a nonpartisan public policy research firm in Lansing. The report makes wide-ranging recommendations for turning around Michigan’s schools, offering an education reform road map for policymakers that begins with home visits for newborns and continues through expanded college advising initiatives.

Released today but provided to Bridge for review earlier, the report mixes an array of policy proposals with a sobering portrait of a school system hobbled by state funding that hasn’t kept up with inflation, and political leaders and interest groups that haven’t found common ground for the type of far-reaching reform taking place in other states.

“We’ve made recommendations that would move Michigan forward,” said Jeff Guilfoyle, vice president of Public Sector Consultants and one of the authors of the report. “But if you’re talking about moving Michigan to a top 10 state, that’s probably going to cost more money.”

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