Friday, January 5, 2007

Grosse Pointe Schools - Feeling the Pinch?

The article below by Daniel Howes provides an interesting view into one of the better funded districts:

Detroit News: Pointes expose school fund woes (01/05/07).

The point implied by the district administrators is that a lack of increased funding is going to erode their education system.

Even though Grosse Pointe is one of the highest funded districts in the state, they -- like most school districts -- claim whatever they get, it's not enough.

I believe that schools in Michigan are now starting to feel a budget pinch due to their own self-inflicted financial mismanagement. These money problems are not solely caused by demons in Lansing.

But more than that is the question of "bang for the buck".

How is it that Forest Hills and East Grand Rapids on the west side of the state, or East Lansing and Okemos in the center, can all do a splendid job of educating their children when they receive $2000 - $3000 less PER PUPIL than Grosse Pointe?

Yes, Grosse Pointe is clearly at the top by almost any measure. (The measurements, by the way, which we now have thanks to No Child Left Behind!)

But with 20% more money, are they 20% better? I'm not knocking Grosse Pointe, and consider them to be one of the finest districts in the state. But I think the question merits discussion.

And, more significantly, is it the extra money per pupil that does it?

I'm sure it doesn't hurt, but I'd bet that their impressive results -- and the results in the other districts I mentioned -- are really driven by an education culture pushed by the teachers, and more importantly by the parents!

==> Mike.

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