Amber Arellano, executive director of Education Trust-Midwest, recently wrote an op-ed in The Detroit News about a report her group put out on how the state’s public schools have performed on standardized tests.

Arellano wrote: “Michigan’s third-graders show the greatest decline in third-grade reading compared to peers in other states, but these learning declines are about triple that of the next closest state for this measure, despite the fact that state leaders have invested nearly $80 million in recent years to raise third-grade reading levels.”

Two paragraphs later Arellano mentions increased funding as a possible solution to the problem.

ForTheRecord says: If spending $80 million didn’t make a difference, maybe more money isn’t the answer.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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