Opportunity for All Means Fair Funding for All

Fair funding for every Michigan student


What does Fair Funding Look Like?

To ensure every student in Michigan has access to the resources for success, Michigan must create a fair funding system for all schools. The Opportunity for All searchable online database paints a picture showing the funding that Michigan school districts currently receive for students from low-income backgrounds compared to how much more funding these students could receive under a school funding model like that of Massachusetts – the top education state in the nation which provides far greater additional resources for students with the greatest needs. This tool provides a roadmap showing what it would take for Michigan to truly commit to a fair funding system that provides opportunity for all.

In Massachusetts, funds for students from lower income backgrounds are distributed using an index with 12 bands, with increasingly higher weights as the level of poverty increases. These weights range from approximately 40% of the foundation allowance for the wealthiest districts to just over 100% – or double the foundation allowance – for districts with the highest concentrations of poverty.

In Michigan’s FY24 School Aid Budget, policymakers created an ‘Opportunity Index’ to account for concentrations of poverty in Michigan school districts.

The Opportunity Index made Michigan among the nation’s first ten states with a funding formula that includes an index for concentrations of poverty, among states with similar funding systems.

This model has six bands with weights that increase as the concentration of poverty increases in each band. The weights in this Michigan model will range from 35% to 47% when the Opportunity Index is fully implemented. For the 2023-24 academic year, the legislature has funded the Opportunity Index at approximately 32.6%, meaning that, due to proration, the actual weights for this year range from 11.5% to 15.3%.

Compare Michigan Funding to Leading State Massachusetts

Find Your District

From small towns and rural communities to cities and suburbs, public schools across all geographic areas benefit from the new Opportunity Index. Towns and suburban areas together would receive the greatest investment from a fully funded Opportunity Index, followed by small and midsized cities, and rural areas, according to a new analysis by The Education Trust-Midwest.

Using this tool, you can see how much funding your district is receiving in the 2023-24 academic year for each student from a low-income background and compare that to how much funding your district would receive under a transformational Massachusetts-style model. Just imagine what these districts would be able to accomplish with truly fair funding!

Source: MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education & Data Received from the Senate Fiscal Agency.
Note: This tool includes estimates which do not account for changes in student enrollment, nor does it account for districts which began operation in the fall of 2023.
For this tool, we explore only the additional increases in funding for funds allotted under Section 31a “at-risk” because these dollars are how Michigan provides additional funding for students from low-income backgrounds. To calculate each district’s increase in 31a money, we multiplied each district’s concentration of poverty weight by the 2023-24 Foundation Allowance of $9,608. We then added that amount to each district’s actual Foundation Allowance (a few districts in Michigan have Foundation Allowance amounts different from $9,608) and divided the total by the number of students in the district to estimate the new per pupil amount under each model. It is important to note that a district’s total per pupil expenditures include other items besides just the Foundation Allowance and Section 31a funds which are not included in this tool. We followed this process for all three models: Michigan’s Opportunity Index (FY 24 pro-rated), Massachusetts Model, and the Fully Funded Michigan’s Opportunity Index.