News Story

Detroit Public School System Flush With Cash

Spending is up 54% per pupil, while COVID infusion totals more than $1 billion

Michigan House Democrats tweeted a quote recently from State Rep. Shri Thanedar, D-Detroit, bemoaning a lack of funding for the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

“Detroit’s children deserve better, and we should do better for them,” the quote from Thanedar reads, implying that Detroit students are losing out on literacy funding.

But the district received 54% more in per-pupil funding than the state average in 2020-21. The troubled school system also received the largest infusion of federal COVID-19 dollars of any district in the state.

Detroit schools received $18,469 per pupil in the 2020-21 school year, according to the Michigan Department of Education financial report known as Bulletin 1014. The statewide average is $12,018. Grosse Pointe Schools, located in a wealthy suburb of Detroit, received a per-pupil allowance of $14,563 in 2020-21. Detroit schools were given $1.28 billion in federal COVID-19 funds, which is more than all other districts. Its federal funding equates to $28,618 per pupil.

Benton Harbor Area Schools received $47.1 million in COVID-19 relief money, or $29,356 per pupil. The Beecher Community School District received $20 million, or $28,620 per pupil. Grosse Pointe Schools received $11.4 million, which equals $1,676 per pupil, $26,942 less than Detroit’s student allowance.

“Budget Updates: A child’s quality of education shouldn’t depend on where they live. Detroit’s children deserve better, and we should do better for them,” MI House Democrats tweeted April 28.

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.