State Funding for Universities Continues Upward Climb

Lawmakers should question what taxpayers get for more money

Gov. Rick Snyder, with legislative approval, cut funding for higher education in his first budget. But state support has crept upward ever since and now is higher than when Gov. Snyder took office in 2011. It is a pity that there is not much to show for this extra spending.

The governor’s first budget reduced the amount of tax dollars going into the higher education annual budget by $220.5 million, from $1.5 billion to $1.3 billion. From there it has increased over time by a combined $251.8 million, with another annual bump of $28.2 million proposed for next year.

No matter if state support goes up or down, tuition rates for students continue to climb. Universities responded to the one-year decline in support with a 14 percent increase in tuition. Even after the state started increasing payments to state universities, tuition and fees kept rising. Average annual undergrad tuition increased by $2,471, a 24 percent increase from the 2011-2012 school year, according to state reports.

That’s because university expenses keep increasing. They’ve risen from $5.4 billion to $6.7 billion, also a 24 percent increase. When lawmakers cut the taxpayer dollars going into state universities, their net expenses increased. When lawmakers increased taxpayer dollars going into state universities, their net expenses increased. These annual budgeting debates do little to change this behavior.

Yet many policymakers want to put even more money in state universities. There is no reason to expect that universities will do much with the additional money. Fewer students from Michigan are attending the state's universities, however, a drop of 17,500, or 7 percent, from 2011.

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Even if there were more students attending Michigan public universities, the extra state aid would not improve outcomes. More taxpayer money devoted to higher education doesn’t generate a better educated state population. It has even less to do with overall state prosperity. At best, the additional money reduces the rate of increase in tuition and fees that state residents would pay to attend state universities.

The decrease in the number of state residents attending state universities may provide some pressure for universities to be cost conscious. The state’s aging demographic means that there are fewer Michigan students graduating from high school, and state universities are competing with each other over a smaller customer base. But university costs keep rising anyway. Until universities need to cut costs in order to compete, costs are likely to continue to increase. And an extra $28.2 million from taxpayers next year isn’t going to change that.


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Are Competition And Consumer Choice In Education Good Or Bad?

Apologists for poor schools say ‘bad,’ despite their disparate impact on poor and minority children

A member of the Ann Arbor school board member recently opposed a proposal to allow more students who don’t live in the district attend its schools under the state’s Schools of Choice law. Ann Arbor schools are highly rated, and the students who would be allowed to enroll tend to come from lesser-ranked districts.

The board member not only opposed letting these children in, he also condemned the program that makes this possible, saying, “It sets up a series of competition between districts, between families, and I object to that.”

Is choice for parents and competition between school districts objectionable?

If you are a consumer in a marketplace, then competition is great, because providers of goods and services must work harder to deliver more quality at lower prices than their competitors.

If you are a provider, then competition and consumer choice is terrible, because they make it harder for you to stay in business if you’re delivering goods and services people consider to be cheap and shoddy.

With public schools, though, price is not an issue because they are all equally free — parents pay no tuition. But quality varies tremendously and is a vital issue for parents. They are highly motivated to remove their children from poor schools and place them in good ones – if they are allowed to.

It should not be surprising, then, that individuals, groups and political interests who identify with or are associated with poor public schools tend to oppose and attack school choice and competition.

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Curiously, the mainstream media usually portrays opponents of school choice sympathetically, and often treats school choice supporters with great suspicion. This despite the fact that poor and minority children are far more likely to be assigned to a poor public school than a good one.

In essence, opponents of school choice and competition provided through programs like Michigan’s cross-district schools-of-choice demand that poor children who are stuck in poor schools remain there, with no chance to attend a better school.

If one tried to design a system aimed at holding back the life-chances of poor and minority children, making it impossible for them to escape bad schools and get into good ones would be a key element.


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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. Its growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years.

But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them and transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government to keep them off the market. They even imposed deed restrictions on property they sold to private developers. All of this activity was aimed at hindering or even preventing charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

 

Here's how Detroit Prep overcame government obstacles to expand in the Motor City. Learn more in the Mackinac Center’s latest edition of IMPACT magazine.

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Is it Constitutional to Require Criminal Defendants to Fund Their Own Prosecution?

State Supreme Court considers whether to hear a case presenting this question

Can criminal defendants be required to pay a portion of the costs of prosecuting them? That’s a question the Michigan Supreme Court may soon answer if it takes up the case of one defendant who says that imposing those costs on him amounts to levying an impermissible tax.

Shawn Loveto Cameron, who has asked the high court to hear his appeal, was tried and convicted of assault in Washtenaw County. The trial court sentenced him to prison — 13 months to 20 years — and also ordered him to pay over $1,600 in court costs. Cameron was then entitled to argue his case before the Michigan Court of Appeals, where he asserted that the costs amounted to an illegal tax. The court, he said, lacked statutory authority to impose them.

The appeals court disagreed and upheld the trial court’s decision, so Cameron petitioned the state Supreme Court to hear the case. That court, like its federal counterpart, hears only a fraction of the cases that come its way. If it does not grant his petition, the Court of Appeals' ruling will stand.

Cameron’s argument has raised two questions. Are court costs considered a tax, a fee or something else? And if a tax, does it violate either the separation of powers or the distinct-statement clause of the Michigan Constitution?

He has a strong argument that requiring criminal defendants to pay court costs amounts to a tax. As he explains in his application to the Supreme Court, taxes and fees are different, by design: Taxes are involuntary payments meant to raise revenue, while fees are voluntary payments made in exchange for services received or benefits conferred. Cameron’s prosecutor admitted that the requirement defendants face to reimburse courts for the costs of prosecuting them is a tax, not a fee, and the Court of Appeals agreed.

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The case seems to turn on the second question: Is it constitutional for courts to impose these taxes, and are they structured properly? Cameron says no, pointing out that the Legislature cannot delegate its authority to tax to another unit of government, and transferring this responsibility to the courts violates the separation of powers doctrine of the constitution.

Moreover, because court costs vary by jurisdiction — reflecting the expenses of running each court —the statute authorizing them is too obscure to pass constitutional muster. A law creating a legal tax, Cameron argues, would distinctly state a sum and indicate that it is a tax.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, deciding that as long as the costs imposed on the defendant are “reasonably related” to the expenses actually incurred by the court, they are not improper. And, as for the separation of powers issue, the Michigan Supreme Court has said, “The boundaries between these branches need not be airtight.” As long as the Legislature provides guidelines, it may delegate its authority – even its power to tax. Moreover, the appeals court noted, the Legislature has already delegated some of its criminal sentencing power to the courts without violating the separation of powers.

The Supreme Court may allow courts to impose costs on criminal defendants. But is it good policy? No.

Justice is not free, and operating a court means paying salaries and administrative expenses. The state pays judges’ salaries and some of the courts’ operations, and counties use their own tax revenue to cover some of the expenses. Courts fill in the rest with their own revenue-generating measures. Assigning court costs to defendants is one such measure, as is requiring parties to civil lawsuits to pay filing and motion fees. If courts are to assign costs to criminal defendants, it is at least better to charge a flat rate like Washtenaw does. Requiring defendants — many of whom are indigent — to pay a fee for each filing and motion would result in a miscarriage of justice because it would pressure them to take plea deals or guilty pleas to avoid accumulating the fees required by a lengthy and complex defense.

Many defendants are indigent, and that fact presents many problems for a just government. Wealthy people are more likely to have stable employment and housing, meaning that they are less likely than poor people to run afoul of the law and more likely to have effective representation when they do. Court costs are only assigned to people who are found guilty. This puts the courts in the precarious position of hanging their ability to fund themselves on the very individuals who are least able to pay in the first place. Those individuals are also the least able to recover financially from a criminal conviction and are at higher risk of reoffending and incurring even more costs as a result of the debt.

Requiring payments from convicted criminals also introduces a profit motive in our courts. Judges do not assign court costs to prosecutors when defendants are found not guilty, meaning that courts only recoup costs when judges enter guilty verdicts. Although officers of the court are presumably honest people, the practice of allowing judges to generate revenue should raise concerns about whether it violates due process.

Court expenses have gone up in Michigan and nationally over the last few years, handing local governments a financial challenge, and Gov. Rick Snyder created the Trial Court Funding Commission last year to study the issue. Whatever it concludes, imposing costs in a criminal case is an inherently regressive measure that is ineffective and possibly unconstitutional. Policymakers should find a way to do without them – something they may have to do eventually if the Supreme Court takes Loveto’s case.


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The Great Lakes Trough Truce

Spending interest groups only ask for more money

The 2018 federal budget includes a block of money that goes to groups that do things in the Great Lakes. The Trump administration wanted to lower that funding. But 185 groups banded together to oppose any spending reductions.

Politicians at all levels face pushback if they attempt to reduce spending. While those 185 groups could secure their funding by pointing politicians to areas where they could save money, they don’t. Government spending interests refuse to criticize other spending interests because doing so might expose them to a similar critique. You can only ask for more, never ask less for anyone else. It’s a rule of the Trough Truce.

The letters the groups signed ask for $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, in addition to other spending they wanted. But, there is no clear plan for where that money should come from. The implication must be that it should come from taxpayers, or taxpayer-financed federal debt, because they point to no other area that is less important than their own interest.

Indeed, when they even acknowledge costs, they only do so in an attempt to write them off, claiming that their preferred spending provides a 2-to-1 return on investment. It is a regular strategy of spending interests. The argument that their spending is a benefit and not a cost allows them to ignore the other places that compete for public dollars.

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But government spending is rarely about driving economic impacts alone. Spending is also about goals that ostensibly serve the public good.

Spending interests could make the case that their plans accomplish something beneficial, something actually worth doing. After all, government policymakers have established a number of water quality targets, and the Great Lakes spending letters point out that there is progress being made on those goals. But they stop short of the claim that their program is responsible for the progress, let alone make any serious assertion that the program is able to make progress at cost-effective rates.

Of course, these groups are not the only ones to engage in such a tactic. State universities don’t complain about Medicaid. The prison union doesn’t complain about road funding. Environmental cleanup contractors don’t complain about Pure Michigan advertising. Instead, they are all united in calls for more money.

That’s a missed opportunity. Spending interests should make a habit of arguing, in public, about the effectiveness of other uses of taxpayer money. Voters would be better informed and perhaps people would be more content that their representatives were spending their money wisely. But for that to happen, the trough truce needs to be broken.


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Back To The Future With Renewable Energy Puffery

Who benefits if families must pay more to get the same amount of electric power?

Activists and businesses that profit from wind and other renewable energy sources often claim that these produce additional jobs, and that this is a benefit. For example, the president and CEO of Consumers Energy recently said in a newspaper op-ed, “Building and operating more wind farms and solar power plants will create jobs.”

What the boosters don’t explain is how electric ratepayers benefit if the power they buy costs more because more people are needed to produce it. An image from the old “Back to the Future” movies illustrates the problem:

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Still from "Back to the Future," 1985 Universal Pictures.

The scene evokes a time when gas stations were called “service stations,” and they competed on the basis of which one provided the most services – check the oil and tire pressure, top-up the fluids, clean the windshield, etc.

It sounds nice for motorists – until the extra cost of all those services gets added to the per-gallon price of gasoline. When consumers eventually had the opportunity to choose between more costly “full service” and cheaper self-serve gas, the window cleaners and tire checkers quickly disappeared.

The promoters of renewable energy requirements don't mention that adding more wind and solar doesn't reduce by a single watt the amount of conventional fuel generation capacity — gas, coal, hydro or nuclear — this state must maintain. Utilities don't add wind and solar capacity instead of conventional power sources; it is always in addition to conventional sources.

Michigan utilities had the capacity to generate about 22,000 megawatt hours with conventional sources as of 2016. If they add 5,000 more wind turbines and cover 100,000 acres with solar panels, the utilities will still need to maintain about 22,000 megawatt-hours of conventional power capacity.

Why? Because of another fact the wind and solar advocates would rather not discuss: The sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow.

So when activists and boosters cite “more jobs” as a benefit of renewables, families and small businesses should ask: Who’s going to pay for all those extra people needed to provide the same amount of power?


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Study on Arkansas Tourism Campaign Should Make You Scratch Your Head about Pure Michigan

If economic impacts are as stated, the tourism industry should pay for its own ad campaign

Does Arkansas’ tourism campaign provide more return on investment than Pure Michigan? That’s one implication of a study that looked at the returns of the Arkansas campaign, Arkansas: The Natural State. It said that the campaign returns $144 for every dollar spent. A taxpayer-funded study of the Pure Michigan national marketing push, meanwhile, says that Michigan’s advertising campaign returns $119 in tourism spending for each dollar spent.

The difference between the two campaigns — they are different but not that different — means that their results should be viewed with skepticism. Studies of this sort exaggerate the economic impact of state efforts. As one academic put it, “Most economic impact studies are commissioned to legitimize a political position rather than to search for economic truth. Often the result is mischievous procedures that produce large numbers that study sponsors seek to support a predetermined position.”

The incentives are all wrong when the people paying for the studies have a vested interest in promoting the benefits of the campaign the study examines. Some of the authors of these economic impact studies, like those who produced past studies for Pure Michigan, won’t even share how they come up with their figures. You have to trust them.

A different look at the data, though, finds more costs than benefits. Spending an extra $1 million on ads results in $20,000 in extra activity in the state’s lodging industry, a poor return on the money.

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If the people in the tourism industry think that such things were an effective use of money, they can come together to keep the campaign alive. That way, the direct beneficiaries of spending will be the people paying for it, even if industry interests have opposed it in the past.

It might be a challenge for the interested parties to find a way to split the bill, though. This would be difficult if the returns on the campaign were small. If a campaign had only a 50 percent return, for example, business owners may be wary that a cost-splitting decision would assign their business more costs than they would get in benefits. But if there really are 11,800 percent returns — the implication of the Pure Michigan report — there should be interest in keeping the campaign alive even without a fully fair way to divvy the costs. The remarkable returns could help lead to a compromise funding solution.

If Pure Michigan interests believe these impact studies, maybe they could also talk about how they can boost their returns up to Arkansas levels. But if they don’t believe the studies, then it’s more likely those reports are just an effort to get something at taxpayer expense, even if the returns aren’t great.


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March 29, 2018 MichiganVotes weekly roll call report

The Legislature is on spring break with no sessions scheduled until April 10. Rather than votes this report contains some noteworthy legislative proposals to amend the constitution. To become law these require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and approval by voters.


Senate Joint Resolution M: Give legislature power to cancel administrative rules
Introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would give a majority of the legislature the power to cancel administrative rules promulgated by state departments. Also, each state department would have to post a list of core services for which it is uniquely responsible, annual spending on these and key performance measures. Then, the governor’s annual budget recommendation would be required to have two parts, a core services budget and a budget for everything else. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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Senate Joint Resolution P: Limit authority of university governing boards
Introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would limit the powers of the governing boards of the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State to those prescribed in state laws enacted by the legislature. The constitution now grants these boards “general supervision and control” of the universities, which this measure would make subject to limitations established by the political branches (legislature and governor). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution DD: Replace elected university boards with governor appointments
Introduced by Rep. James Lower (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to no longer elect the directors of the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State. The institutions’ governing boards would instead be appointed by the governor upon the advice and consent of the Senate. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution EE: Impose term limits on university governing boards
Introduced by Rep. Aaron Miller (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to elect the eight-member governing boards of the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State for four year terms, rather than the current eight-year terms, and limit members to two four-year terms. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution HH: Ban conflict of interest voting by legislators
Introduced by Rep. Scott Dianda (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to prohibit legislators from voting on bills in which they have a direct financial interest. See also House Bill 5730, which would criminalize legislator conflict of interest voting; and House Bill 4968, which would ban local planning and zoning board members from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest. All three measures have been referred to committee with no further action taken at this time.


Senate Joint Resolution Q: Make “best interests of the child” paramount over parental rights
Introduced by Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would establish that public officials' determination of the best interests of a child "are paramount to the rights of a parent and all other factors in determining whether parental rights should be terminated” in child custody proceedings, juvenile justice cases or cases of child abuse and neglect. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution II: Establish parental rights as paramount
Introduced by Rep. Gary Glenn (R) , to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to establish that, “parents and legal guardians have a natural and fundamental right to direct the care, education, and upbringing of their children. No government action shall burden, abridge, or hinder this natural, fundamental right unless it is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit www.MichiganVotes.org.


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The Steel Industry, Not Taxpayers, Should Pay for New Soo Lock

Industry should pay for the services it uses

The new tariffs on imported steel imposed by the Trump administration have been roundly criticized by economists and major steel-consuming industries. The announcements last week that Nucor will build a new plant in Florida, and U.S. Steel will bring its Granite City, Illinois, plant back on line are good news for those 500 steelworkers, but may pale against the number of employees laid off by the industries that use this now more expensive steel. With these tariffs a done deal, the administration has significant leverage to move onto another item on the steel industry’s public policy wish list: the building of a second Poe Lock, part of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie that connect Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes.

The steel industry is seeking public funding for the construction of a second Poe Lock. Roughly 50 percent of the iron ore used in American steelmaking goes through the Poe Lock, the one lock at the Soo Locks that can handle the 1,000-foot “lakers” used to haul ore across the Great Lakes. A 2015 Department of Homeland Security study found that if this lock were shut down for a period of six months or longer, unemployment would rise by 5.8 percentage points and the U.S. gross domestic product would shrink by $1.1 trillion, or roughly 6 percent.

Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this second lock, though — its beneficiaries should and they are the steel industry and its consumers. For starters, the federal government is resource- constrained, now and forever.

That said, might the Trump administration’s infrastructure plan be used to assuage the cost to the steel industry? The 2018 Economic Report of the President calls for greater user funding of capital projects on the inland waterways, as well as inland waterway operations and maintenance. The Soo Locks are not on the inland waterways, but the same principle should apply.

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Currently, the users of the Soo Locks pay none of the capital or operations and maintenance costs. Inland waterway users, on the other hand, at least pay 50 percent of the capital costs of the infrastructure they use. The same tariffs, i.e., fees, imposed on inland waterways users, should be imposed on users of the existing Poe Lock, which could then be one of the sources for financing the construction of the second Poe Lock, estimated to cost at least $700 million.

The administration’s infrastructure proposal provides the policy changes as well as the funding and financing tools to implement a user-funded second Poe Lock. It has three major grant funding initiatives: the infrastructure incentive program, which includes waterway projects under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers; the rural infrastructure program; and the transformative project program. Two of the purposes of the incentive program are to attract “significant new, non-Federal revenue streams dedicated to infrastructure investments” and to create ”significant leverage of Federal infrastructure investments,” purposes almost custom-designed for a user-financed second Poe Lock.

Neither the federal government nor third-party service providers currently have authority to impose user fees. Authorizing them for the Soo Locks would enable an effective infrastructure partnership. The second Poe Lock should be added to this list of eligible facilities as part of the Trump administration’s infrastructure proposal.

The rural infrastructure program can be used to fund maritime and waterway projects and the transformative project program can be used for “bold, innovative, transformative” projects. The incentive program would distribute $40 billion to the states on a formula basis, guaranteeing Michigan funds towards the project. A second Poe Lock surely should meet these definitions.

Further, the Trump infrastructure proposal calls for additional resources for Water Infrastructure and Financing Improvement Act loans, extending the program to 2028, and would authorize navigation loans. These loans could be lent to any of the Great Lakes steel states, localities or steel producers as part of a public-private partnership in order to facilitate the construction of a second Poe Lock.

In no event should taxpayers fund a second Poe Lock. The main source of funds for the construction, maintenance and operation of a second Poe Lock should come from the steel industry as it would be the primary user and beneficiary. A user-financed second Poe Lock would fit in with the goals outlined in the Trump administration’s infrastructure proposal, and especially considering it just locked down special protective treatment via a new tariff, the steel industry should bear the responsibility of funding this important infrastructure upgrade.


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State’s Education Woes Require Full Assessment

BLM report takes on key myths but misses complete picture

The evidence is clear that the academic achievement produced by Michigan public school students, on average, lags the nation. The publicity surrounding this fact heightens the temptation to start a hollow drumbeat of misguided and simplistic prescriptions.

Michigan was the only state to lose ground on the National Assessment of Educational Progress math and reading tests between 2003 and 2015, sinking the state to 43rd in overall achievement. (The 2017 results are due out soon.)

A series of reports have followed with different but overlapping agendas to change the fortunes of Michigan’s $20 billion K-12 education enterprise. More often than not, they handle the current system with kid gloves and simply argue for more spending as the solution.

Writers for Bridge Magazine have tapped into this vein. In so doing, they ignore significant evidence that casts great doubt on this approach. Prior Mackinac Center research showed the lack of a relationship between more spending by schools and better results for students. Meanwhile, the state’s per-pupil funding levels are at an all-time high.

The most recent group to enter the fray is Business Leaders for Michigan. BLM avoids blindly following the drumbeat, yet the final product leaves something to be desired.

The group’s report touches on meaningful areas with its recommendations: high expectations and academic standards, quality professional training for teachers and principals, team-oriented school cultures and incentives for great performance. There are examples of Michigan districts and charter organizations doing this already. The salient question is how does Michigan create the conditions for more local success, rather than how does the state dictate and fund more programs.

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On several points, the report hints at ways to address underlying issues but falls short of making a complete case. For instance, BLM wisely questions the ongoing funding boosts to the state’s 56 intermediate school districts “with no clear understanding of how those costs impact classroom learning.” Yet no suggestion is made to improve the status quo related to the role and use of ISDs. The report only recommends that “there should be clear and transparent reporting of results” for governmental education agencies.

BLM also correctly observes that Michigan’s academic woes cannot be blamed on a failure to “spend enough on K-12 education.” The report says that a greater share of resources should be dedicated to core classroom functions and calls for further analysis to determine the return on investment from current K-12 spending.

BLM would have done well to apply that approach consistently. Elsewhere the report claims teacher training and instructional technology have been underfunded and need significant investments to turn things around. Yet Michigan Department of Education data shows that combined spending on these areas already has grown from $351 million in 2007 to $476 million a decade later.

To its credit, the BLM report rebuts the groundless assertion that charter schools are somehow responsible for the state’s academic shortcomings. After all, charters serve only one-tenth of Michigan’s total public school enrollment and tend to be clustered in low-income, urban centers.

But the report could have gone further than just observing that charters are not “fully responsible” for Michigan’s slide. It neglected to note that Michigan charter schools are getting better results while the state overall is languishing. A BLM chart broke out the subpar NAEP test performance of both conventional school and charter school students, but failed to mention that charters are much likelier to serve children in poverty. And in highlighting gains made over time, the report fails to show the progress charters made.

As Matt Ladner and Max Eden wrote last November in The Detroit News: “In 2015, Michigan’s charter students were about a full grade-level ahead of their 2009 counterparts in reading and math.” That is dramatic and noteworthy progress.

A newer Mackinac Center study showed that in 90 percent of cities, charter schools — which are generally funded less than conventional public schools — generate better results for each dollar they spend. BLM took the high road in refusing to disparage charters. But it left out any recommendations that would fund charter schools more fairly or otherwise expand access to these educational options.

Michigan leaders need to be reminded that charter schools, while having room to improve, are providing quality alternatives and more direct accountability to families. These cost-effective options remain a key part of the needed solution. That’s what a full assessment of the evidence would say.


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