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Recommendations for Equity in Education

Contributed by: Joy Lyman, 313Reads Michigan Education Policy Fellow with Teach for America Detroit

The Growing Michigan Together Council recently released its final report on December 14th, outlining key recommendations aimed at promoting early childhood literacy and ensuring access to high-quality education for every student in Michigan schools. As proud members of the bipartisan Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity, 313Reads aligns with the recommendations put forth by Governor Whitmer's Growing Michigan Together Council.

This follows a significant milestone in June when the Opportunity Index became part of Michigan state law. The Opportunity Index plays a crucial role in directing funding to support students who have historically been underserved in our schools, including English Language Learners, students with disabilities, and those from low-income backgrounds. The council's report prominently features the Opportunity Index as a key initiative.

Here are a few

essential measures that 313Reads believes will contribute to fostering early literacy among Detroit students:

  • Fully Funding Special Education and English Language Learner Programs: These programs are particularly vital for Detroit students who may not have consistently accessed effective special education services and language instruction. By prioritizing these initiatives, the state can provide a pathway to literacy from an early age.

  • Implementing the Opportunity Index: Michigan aims to address the broader needs of students from low-income families and schools with high concentrations of poverty by fully funding the Opportunity Index. This strategic move ensures that students in our city receive more equitable funding, ultimately rebalancing the scales in education.

  • Providing Stable Funding for Districts: Guaranteeing stable funding for districts is crucial for strategic long-term planning, free from disruptions caused by short-term shifts in enrollment. Stability is a key factor in ensuring that Detroit students have continuous access to long-term, sustainable educational programming in our schools.

We strongly encourage lawmakers to take the next step by leveraging these recommendations to propel education forward in Michigan. By embracing these measures, we can collectively work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable educational landscape for all students across the state.


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