Could school funding be at risk if COVID outbreaks force students to quarantine?

School funding tied to number of students in the classroom

Could school funding be at risk if outbreaks force students to quarantine?

LANSING, Mich. – School funding has always been tied to the number of students in the classroom.

In 2020, lawmakers in Lansing changed the budget to protect schools from losing money because so many children were learning from home. That move was temporary and now the funding concerns have returned.

“We are hoping for in-person, hoping that outbreaks don’t occur. But, as we’ve discussed, we can’t predict what’s going to happen,” Deputy Executive Director Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators Peter Spadafore said.

Currently, per-student funding depends on how many students are in school on count day.

“If we had a big spike and a lot of people were out because of quarantine in that first week of October, that would impact the funding for the school,” Sen. Rosemary Bayer said.

Bayer is the Minority Vice Chair of the Senate Subcommittee for the School Aid Budget, which totals $17 billion.

In 2020, as students turned to online learning, COVID language protected funding for schools. That is not the case so far this year.

The Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators is hoping Lansing will be proactive

“We have students that may need to quarantine and situations where outbreaks may occur and we need to address that so students can continue to learn and that districts can receive state funding to provide education,” Spadafore said.

Read: More education coverage

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.