News Bite

Lansing School District Set To Receive More than $100M In Federal COVID Money

Science teacher says district doesn’t give her enough for classroom equipment

Last October, the Michigan Education Association published a story about Lansing school teacher Mariah Gaither, who said she had to spend her own money to buy supplies for her science class.

“Science is a lot of hands-on stuff, and last week I did an experiment with my students where I had to pay for all the materials by myself because there was no budget for it,” she said. “We’re not provided enough resources to deliver our curriculum and help our students learn. We have microscopes that don’t work, scales that don’t work. We’re using lab kits from the 1990s. I don’t have books — I’m making the curriculum and providing everything, and it’s very frustrating.”

The Lansing Public School District is scheduled to receive a total of $107.8 million in federal COVID-19 relief money. By comparison, it had a total of $166.5 million in revenue in 2020-21.

In the past 10 years, the district's per pupil funding in state dollars only (not including local and federal) has increased from an inflation-adjusted $8,160 in 2011-12 to $8,464 in 2021-22. The district is getting about $300 more per pupil when adjusted for inflation.

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.