News Bite

Cancel The Narrative: Schools Serving Michigan’s Poor Among State's Highest Funded, Not Least

A current talking point among interests promoting increased spending by Michigan public school districts is that schools serving poorer communities are funded at a lower level than ones serving affluent cities.

That is almost exactly the opposite of the reality. When all forms of funding are included, schools serving Michigan’s poorest communities are among the most highly funded in the state.

For example, 49.1% of Hamtramck residents live below the federal poverty line. At the Hamtramck public school district, 94.4% of students are considered to be “economically disadvantaged.”

In contrast, in the city of East Grand Rapids, just 2.1% of residents live in poverty, and just 6% of the East Grand Rapids school district’s students are designated as economically disadvantaged.

Yet Hamtramck schools received more money per pupil than the East Grand Rapids’ school district.

Hamtramck received $14,294 per pupil in 2018-19, while the East Grand Rapids district received $14,170 per pupil. Both districts were funded above the state average of $13,457 per pupil. That’s according to National Public Education Finance Survey which includes local, state and federal funding.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.