MEA makes recommendations to Gov.'s school finance group

MEA has provided the Governor's Oxford Foundation with a list of recommendations for properly funding an effective public education system. Using Gov. Snyder's 2011 Education Message as a starting point, the Oxford Foundation is a work group charged with rewriting the School Aid Act of 1979. In July, Project Director Richard McLellan, called for input from stakeholders in Michigan's public education system.

In a news release, MEA President Steven Cook said, "Improving the quality of education and creating a stable, adequate and equitable funding process to deliver a first-class education is a daunting task, but one MEA is committed to undertaking. We hope Gov. Snyder and his advisors view these recommendations as a first step to working together on these critical issues."

MEA's recommendations come from research-based ideas and policy, along with discussions with teachers, parents and education experts. Included in the proposal presented to the Oxford Foundation are recommendations to expand preschool programs, fully fund the education of special needs students, take advantage of education delivery systems like blended and online learning, and provide at-risk students with quality year-round academic programs.

Any discussion of school funding, however, has to include restoring the 2010 $1 billion K-12 education cut that translated into a cut of $16,000 per classroom, per year in the last two years. That would be a start to funding MEA's recommendations.