Making Democracy Work

FINANCING K-12 PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE MIDLAND AREA

Adopted 2012

The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area reaffirms the following current LWVMI positions on K-12 public school funding:

"I. LWVMI supports the development of a publicly financed public education system in which there is equal opportunity for good education available to all children in Michigan.

II. Public funds should not be used for nonpublic education except for shared time in the public schools, auxiliary services and transportation.

III. The State should:

A. Bear the greatest responsibility for financing public education, including programs for compensatory, special and vocational education, transportation, and education for the gifted.
B. Develop a financial distribution system which would assure equal educational opportunity for all children.

IV. Local districts should:

A. Continue to bear some responsibility for financing education.
B. Have the option of raising additional millage in order to provide some enrichment of the basic educational program.
D. Retain the major control in the spending of the educational dollar, under state guidelines, including programs for compensatory education, transportation, capital outlay and in-service training.
G. Provide for equalization, or comparability of educational opportunities and funding, among all schools in the district.

V. The financial distribution system should:

A. Ensure equality of educational opportunity to all children. Such equality should be measured by using at least two of these criteria, in order of preference:
1. Education input,
2. Needs of individual children,
3. Education outcome,
4. Dollars spent per child.
B. Be funded at a level aimed at achieving a high quality program for all school districts.
C. ...The voucher plan is unacceptable as a distribution system."

The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area believes the following:

I. Local residents of the Midland County K-12 public school districts should expect the education offered by their schools to be excellent.
II. The level of per pupil financing is very important to the quality of education offered in the local public school districts.
III. The rating of the following factors to the quality of education a K-12 public school district is able to offer is:

A. Of utmost importance
1. Per pupil foundation grant
2. Total dollars available to finance district operations
B. Somewhat important - Number of pupils in the district
C. Should not be a factor
1. Total area covered by district in square miles
2. Value of property within school district boundaries

IV. The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area will actively encourage local districts to study the viability of asking local taxpayers to approve additional enhancement millage. Additionally, if the question of approving additional enhancement millage is put on the ballot, the League will support its passage.

V. The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area will actively encourage the Midland County Educational Service Agency (MCESA) to study the viability of asking local taxpayers to approve additional special education and/or operational millage. Additionally, if the question of approving additional millage is put on the ballot, the League will support its passage