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Revolution, Evolution, and Decline: Michigan K-12 School Finance Since Proposal A of 1994 School Funding Workshop State Board of Education Lansing February.

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Presentation on theme: "Revolution, Evolution, and Decline: Michigan K-12 School Finance Since Proposal A of 1994 School Funding Workshop State Board of Education Lansing February."— Presentation transcript:

1 Revolution, Evolution, and Decline: Michigan K-12 School Finance Since Proposal A of 1994 School Funding Workshop State Board of Education Lansing February 17, 2010 Michael Addonizio, Wayne State University

2 Constitution of Michigan of 1963 Article VIII – Education Sec. 1 –Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. Sec. 2 –The legislature shall maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools as defined by law. Every school district shall provide for the education of its pupils without discrimination as to religion, creed, race, color or national origin.

3 State Policy Choices: Revenues The “Big 3”: –Property tax –Sales tax –Income tax Other Sources: Business taxes Excise taxes (e.g., tobacco, alcohol, etc.) Lotteries

4 Constitution of Michigan of 1963 Article IX – Finance and Taxation Sec 3 …A law that increases the statutory limits in effect as of Feb. 1, 1994 on the maximum amount of ad valorem property taxes that may be levied for school district operating purposes requires the approval of ¾ of the members elected to and serving in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. Sec. 7 - No income tax graduated as to rate or base shall be imposed by the state or any of its subdivisions.

5 FY 2008-09 School Revenue

6 FY 2009-10 School Revenue

7 Federal Revenue No Child Left Behind = $753.0 million Special Education = $424.7 million Free and Reduced Lunch = $332.5 million Other Federal Revenue = $51.8 million

8 Local Operating Revenue 18 Mills Non-Homestead = $2,189.8 million Special Education Mills = $1,045.4 million Vocational Education Mills = $203.7 million ISD Operating Mills = $62.8 million

9 School Aid Fund (SAF) SAF provides nearly all state K-12 funding. Designated taxes earmarked for deposit into SAF for school operations. MI Constitution requires that SAF be used exclusively for schools, higher education, and school employee retirement benefits. SAF received approximately $11.4 billion for FY 2008-09.

10 FY 2008-09 SAF Revenue

11 SAF Revenue History

12 State Policy Choices: Distribution Guaranteed Tax Base (GTB) formula –Local voters select tax rate and spending level –State guarantees a minimum per pupil revenue yield per mill of tax effort Foundation Formula State sets tax and spending level

13 Michigan K-12 Finance, circa 1993, GTB Local Property Tax Covers 2/3 of Operating Revenues 122 Districts within 4 Mills of Constitutional Limit Rich Schools, Poor Schools Onaway with $3,277 PP @ 22.66 mills Ypsilanti with $5,919 PP @ 43.68 mills Bloomfield Hills w/ $10,358 @ 24.41 mills


15 Proposal A Goals Reduce, but not eliminate per pupil gaps Reduce & limit property tax for operations Reduce local share of operations costs Increase state funds and state share Provide greater stability in funding

16 Foundation Growth, 1993-94 Pre-A Foundation Base through 2008-09

17 YearMinimumBasicMaximum (hold harmless) 1994-95$4,200$5,000$6,500 1995-964,5065,1536,653 1996-974,8165,3086,808 1997-985,1245,4626,962 1998-995,1705,4626,962 1999-005,700 7,200 2000-016,000 7,500 2001-026,500 8,000 2002-036,626 8,126 2003-046,626 8,126 2004-056,700 8,200 2005-066,875 8,375 2006-077,085 8,585 2007-087,2048,704 2008-097,3168,816 Foundation Levels

18 Per-Pupil Foundation Levels

19 School Aid FY 2009-10 $165 reduction in foundation ($263 million) 20% cut in ISD operations aid ($16.3 million) $32.8 million reduction in categorical aid Governor vetoed Sec. 20J payments, reducing aid to 39 districts by $51.5 million Additional $127 foundation cut withdrawn, along with $8.8 million cut in ISD aid

20 State K-12 Membership History

21 K-12 Membership History, updated

22 State and Local Revenue for School Operations, 1978-79 through 2007-08

23 Measuring A’s Success Clear reduction in per pupil gaps Property taxes clearly reduced & limited Major change in state / local share Clear shift to state financing Revenue stability has suffered for many districts

24 Improved Finances for Many Traditional Districts thru FY 04 Significant and dramatic increases in fund balances for most traditional districts Sources a combination of foundation increases, pension re-financing, “Durant” settlement, enrollment growth and district management practices Increases now eroding for many districts

25 Total Fund Balance as Percent of Current Operating Expenditures – Traditional Districts and Public School Academies

26 Enrollment Patterns Have Become a Critical Finance Issue Growing enrollment usually results in good fiscal health Declining enrollment often results in fiscal problems Majority of districts and pupils now in decline status Very, very few districts are steady growers

27 Enrollment Patterns, cont. Declining enrollment not just an urban issue Significant declines in rural and small city /towns/older suburbs 80% of all traditional districts now face declining enrollments



30 Property Taxes Limited The assessment cap critical Also limitations on local school options for operations –Only two ISDs with “enhancement” mills –Very few enhancement elections held Overall limitation from ¾ vote requirement to change millage limits


32 From Equity to Adequacy After years of unexpectedly large foundation increases, years of flat to reduced foundations Did over-optimism of late 90’s create unrealistic expectations? Enactment of numerous tax exemptions that reduced growth potential of SAF Replacement funds, largely tobacco taxes, are long-term decliners Total revenue declines with enrollment

33 Challenges Capital funding Declining enrollment from population decline and shifts Impact of charters and choice on traditional district enrollment Tax policy and erosion in the revenue base Impacts of personnel and fringe costs- productivity gap

34 Capital Funding for K-12 Proposal A made up-front decision to NOT attempt capital funding reform Assumption that dramatic cut in property taxes would make it easier for some districts to obtain financing until such time as a solution could be developed Data on increased bonding and debt millages clearly indicates that happened Now the next challenge

35 The Challenge of Declining Enrollment Declining enrollment-in a traditional district or a charter school-virtually guarantees financial difficulty-very quickly It’s much harder to manage down than to manage growth Strong consideration needs to be given to change pupil count to a one year lag

36 Tax Policy Changes Impact SAF Revenues Legislation did hold SAF harmless from recent income tax rate cuts (by pushing burden completely on GFGP) Legislation has not held SAF harmless from dozens of base exemptions and other changes that have added up to hundreds of millions of reduced income SAF does not have the same tax base it had in 1994

37 U.S. and Michigan Unemployment Rates, 2000 - 2009

38 History of Michigan Jobs

39 History of Deficit Districts

40 MPSERS School Contribution Rates FY 1995-96 through FY 2008-09

41 MPSERS Costs per Pupil, FY 1998-99 through FY 2007-08

42 New Challenges Increasing mandatory school attendance age from 16 to 18 Universal, high-quality early education Importance of non-school human services Rational tax policy: –Fairness –Stability –Efficiency –Adequacy

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