Monday, November 19, 2012

School funding: When politics intrudes needlessly

The state of Michigan is about to enter into a predictably unnecessary debate about how to fund K-12 education.

In the end it is all about politics and power. The debate will have little to do with student learning.

Take Richard McLellan's memo of November 5, 2012, that provides an update on the public education finance project. In this memo he states,


"Given the Governor’s focus on performance and choice, we want the education financing
law to focus on funding things that work (and stopping things that don’t work) rather than
the present focus on funding schools regardless of performance."

Yet what McLellan is proposing has never been tried any where in the United States. There is no evidence that what he is proposing will work at all.

Yet, if you listen to McLellan, you would think that his proposal is guaranteed to succeed. The only problem is that he cannot make that guarantee at all.

It leads one to wonder why McLellan would be proposing such a radical shift in the way we fund public schools. While those who wish to redefine how we finance public education will state that it is about ensuring that all students have access to "anytime, any place, and any pace" educational options, what they are really interested in is transferring public funds to private corporations without any evidence that this will work.


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