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A Think Twice Review of:

Review of From School Aid to Student Aid: Modernizing K-12 Funding in Michigan

Think Twice - May 03, 2022

Publisher/Think Tank - Mackinac Center

Author(s) - Ben DeGrow

In recent years, supporters of school choice have promoted school finance reforms sometimes called "backpack funding," but also called "money follows the child" or "student-based budgeting." Whatever the term used, the idea is facilitate choice by attaching a funded amount to each student, with that payment following the students to their chosen schools. A recent version of this proposal is found in a new report from the Mackinac Center, which provides a six-part recommendation for changes to Michigan's current approach to financing public and charter schools. The report's overarching theme, which is examined in a new review, is to move toward a system where more funding follows the student to either public, charter, or private schools—or to other service providers.

Reviewer(s) - Bruce Baker, Rutgers University

Bruce Baker of Rutgers University reviewed From School Aid to Student Aid: Modernizing K-12 Funding in Michigan, and found it to provide some useful, albeit insufficiently researched, guidance on shifting categorical funding into core funding and modifying the state's approach to financing programs for children with disabilities.