(The Center Square) – Per student spending in Michigan is up 24.8% over the past 17 years as Michigan has pumped more money into K-12 education while enrollment has been in a two-decade decline.
Enrollment fell 17.5% between 2003-04 and 2020-21, from 1.71 million students to 1.44 million. Two years later, after a nominal gain, it was down to 1.43 million. There was just one year in the 20 with an increase other than 2021-22’s nominal rise, a year impacted by COVID-19.
Enrollment numbers can vary by report and author, though there is consensus in the decline. The Center Square was consistent in use of reports for comparison analysis.
Michigan’s public schools were given local autonomy to determine if they would go remote or hybrid during the pandemic. In 2021-22, there was a 4/10th of 1% increase in enrollment as most districts returned to classroom teaching.
The state’s K-12 schools are setting benchmark highs in funding. Federal and state money for K-12 schools reached $20.2 billion in 2022-23, second only to the $21.7 billion in 2020-21.
In 2006-07, the state’s K-12 schools received a then-record $13 billion in federal and state money. When adjusted for inflation, that equated to $11,260 per pupil. In 2022-23, K-12 schools received $20.2 billion – or, $14,048 per pupil.
Like other states, Michigan got a big boost in public funding for its schools due to the pandemic.
Michigan’s K-12 public schools received $15.83 billion in federal funding over from 2019-20 through 2022-23. K-12 schools received $1.7 billion in federal funding in 2018-19, the school year before the pandemic hit.