Here We Go Again: Media Says Public Schools Facing 'Cuts'; The State Gives K-12 Schools More $$$

In an article titled “10 things to know about the new school year,” the Detroit Free Press reported that school districts are facing the “effects of budget cuts.” The article states, “Enrollment declines and cuts in state aid forced many districts to make some tough cuts over the summer.”

ForTheRecord states: The mainstream media has repeatedly made claims about alleged cuts in state support for K-12 public schools — without evidence to back them up. State funding for Michigan K-12 schools has increased for five consecutive years, starting with 2011-12 school year and including the just-commenced 2015-16 school year.

That said, while schools are seeing more state dollars, some of the extra funding is being consumed by the growing cost of funding the school pension system.

For example, in the 2010-11 school year Dearborn Public Schools received $129.8 million in state dollars. Given Dearborn's enrollment of 18,508 students, that comes to about $7,013 per pupil. In 2014-15, the district received $147.7 million for 19,697 students, for $7,498 per pupil in state aid, and an increase of $485 in per pupil funding. However, from 2012 to 2014 the district’s pension costs increased from $24.5 million to $30.4 million. That’s nearly a $6 million increase for pensions in two years, or almost $300 per pupil.