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Michigan has cut spending on K-12 schools by 9% since 2008

That's according to a report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

It says per-student spending is $572 less than it was before the recession.

The Center looked at state school funding across the country, and found that most are funding their schools less.

The reduced levels reflect not only the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession but also continued austerity in many states; indeed, despite some improvements in overall state revenues, schools in around a third of states are entering the new school year with less state funding than they had last year.

Michigan is listed as one of those states with less money for this school year compared to the year before.

How do the cuts in Michigan compare to spending in other states? Take a look:

The Center says in addition to state cuts, federal cuts to public education have been ongoing as well:

Adding to states’ struggles, federal policymakers have cut ongoing federal funding for states and localities, thereby worsening state fiscal conditions. For example, since 2010, federal spending for Title I — the major federal assistance program for high-poverty schools — is down 12 percent after adjusting for inflation, and federal spending on disabled education is down 11 percent. These cuts include the automatic, across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration,” and the cuts required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Here's their chart showing these cuts:

These cuts, as Michigan is acutely aware, have led to serious school budget problems. We made this chart earlier this year:

Chart by Lucy Perkins, and Mark Brush.
Credit Lucy Perkins, Mark Brush / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio

Even seemingly well-off districts, such as the Ann Arbor Public Schools, are facing cuts that are affecting classrooms.

In its report, the Center argues that these cuts are coming at a time when the U.S. is trying to educate kids to master new technologies and to be ready for a complex global economy.

They say these cuts to public education "undermine a crucial building block for future prosperity."

Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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