Foundation Allowance and Total State & Local Revenue

Because there’s an ongoing debate about whether schools are receiving more funding now than four years ago, I wanted to post both of these charts that show our funding since 1997. Both charts include inflation-adjusted figures (in red) so the reader can see how the value of the revenue each year has diminished which is why class sizes are higher, some programs have been cut or trimmed, and our fund balance (savings account) has been seriously eroded placing the district in a difficult financial position.

We have been fortunate that with the help and sacrifice of our union and non-union employees, we’ve been able to hold the line in spending to weather the current political climate.

Foundation Chart

The foundation allowance provides our district, schools and classrooms with the primary and unrestricted funding core academic classroom instruction and basic operations. As you can see, the amount we are receiving this year per student is still considerably less than four years ago and has been eaten up by inflation considerably over the past twenty years.

Revenue Chart

Total state and local revenue includes the foundation allowance plus restricted-use funding for specialized and targeted programs. These additional funds are restricted from being used for the basic educational program provided for all students. Revenue figures are not yet available for the current year since pupil counts will not be finalized until late spring. In actual dollars, our revenue this past year is considerably less than 2007-08 and like the foundation allowance, has been eroded over the past two decades by inflation.

Our elected officials in Lansing claim that K-12 funding has been increased but their figures include primarily dollars that have had no impact on our district, school and classroom budgets.

You may also want to read:

Citizens Research Council of Michigan – Making Sense of K-12 Funding, October 2014

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – Most States Still Funding Schools Less than Before the Recession, October 2014


About David Britten

Retired U.S. Army Officer, former elementary, middle and high school principal, currently serving as a public school superintendent.
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