MASA is engaged in a new partnership that has been formed with the common goal of providing a high-quality, student-centered education system for every child in Michigan. This partnership – comprised of education leaders, business leaders, unions, state and local leaders, and philanthropic organizations – is called Launch Michigan, and its overarching goals are simple:
- Support shared, statewide, research-driven strategies to deliver effective education to all students and maintain these strategies beyond election cycles. If we continue to change our direction based on the latest decisions in Lansing, we will continue to have a challenge succeeding at our highest levels.
- Stop identifying problems and assigning blame. Instead, roll up our sleeves and continue to work with as many partners as possible and do what is necessary to continue to build the strong, thriving system Michigan needs in order for us to be a Top 10 education state.
- Ensure that appropriate and necessary resources are available to provide an equitable, student-centered education system and funding model.
On that last point, the School Finance Research Collaborative (SFRC) did an excellent job of producing Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study. The study found that it costs a minimum of $9,590 to educate a child, with more being needed for students enrolled in special education, English language learners, students living in poverty, and CTE programs. MASA will continue to work to ensure the SFRC study is used as a resource as this partnership progresses.
Launch Michigan is in the early stages of collaboration, and the partners will be working to finalize a shared agenda in the coming months. While it is true that the partners at this table have not always seen eye to eye, there is one thing that we can truly agree on – a strong and thriving public education system is the cornerstone of helping students succeed in school and later in life. While we recognize this may not be an easy task, we all recognize that it is absolutely necessary. We believe that we have all the right players at the table, and at the right time, to bring about meaningful and lasting change for our children’s future and for Michigan’s future.
You can learn more at www.launchmichigan.org.