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Wayne State University College of Education hosts “Seeking Adequate Funding for Michigan K-12 Schools” featuring regional superintendents and Michigan legislators

 Can Michigan reverse the academic decline in its schools without addressing education funding? The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program in the Wayne State University College of Education invites the community to discuss challenges and strategies related to increasing public education spending during “Seeking Adequate Funding for Michigan K-12 Schools.” The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, March 8, 2018, in the Hilberry rooms of Wayne State’s Student Center Building, located at 5221 Gullen Mall in Detroit.

Panelists include Michael Addonizio, professor, Wayne State University; Wanda Cook-Robinson (Ph.D. ‘90), superintendent, Oakland Schools; Michael DeVault, superintendent, Macomb Intermediate School District; Randy Liepa (B.A. ‘90, Ed. D. ‘97), superintendent, Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency; and Michigan State Senators Hoon-Yung Hopgood and Phil Pavlov. Alicia Nails (J.D. ‘95), director of the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity at Wayne State University, will serve as moderator. Speakers will discuss results of a study of Michigan’s PK-12 finance system spearheaded by The Oakland Education Foundation with support from the Kellogg Foundation, its implications for Michigan’s children and how findings can be used to strengthen education funding. Attendees will have opportunities to network with panelists, ask questions and learn how to advocate for Michigan K-12 schools. The event is sponsored by the Yackness Endowed Lectureship Series and supported by the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies and the Metropolitan Detroit Bureau of School Studies.


“Our goal is to support schools and educators as they work to ensure the success of Michigan’s students,” said R. Douglas Whitman, dean of the College of Education. “We are pleased to bring together educators, legislators and other experts to discuss the importance of making sure Michigan’s public schools have the funds necessary to provide teachers with the resources they need to ensure all children have access to a quality education, are prepared to compete in the global economy and become productive citizens. We hope this event will increase conversation about funding public education, raise awareness and advocacy within the community as we prepare for midterm elections and encourage state and federal lawmakers to make education a priority.”


A recent U.S. Department of Education report indicates that, between 1979 and 2013, Michigan spending on prisons increased more than five times faster than spending on public education. Meanwhile, Michigan school performance continues to decrease; at the current rate of decline, the state will rank 48th by 2030.


“This program seeks to share information and resources with educators, parents, advocates and others who are concerned about the current state of education in Michigan, “said William Hill, assistant dean of the Division of Administrative and Organizational Studies in the College of Education. “Panelists will discuss the importance of funding public schools appropriately and the research lawmakers should use to help inform and guide their decisions. Our hope is that attendees will apply what they learn in their communities to ensure that Michigan’s schools are adequately funded so we can focus on improving the quality of public education and the effectiveness of teaching and learning.”


Registration and a reception will begin at 5 p.m. The lecture and panel discussion will take place from 6 to 7:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Guests are asked to reserve their space online at rsvp.wayne.edu/seeking-adequate-funding-for-michigan-k-12-schools.


For more information, contact Carla Harting at 313-577-1675 or ae2562@wayne.edu.



About the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program seeks to prepare reflective, innovative educators who will reaffirm their commitment to a diverse society. Graduate degree programs use integrated, research-based methods to develop the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful educational leader in a rapidly evolving field. For more information, visit coe.wayne.edu/aos/ed-leadership/index.php.


About the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies

The Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies was founded in September 2014 to honor the lifework and vision of Leonard Kaplan, an uncompromising advocate for the social and affective well-being of the “whole child” in America’s schools. The Kaplan Collaborative commemorates his legacy by producing high-quality and interdisciplinary locally relevant research for community organizations, educational stakeholders, regional education reporters, educational policy makers and peer-reviewed journals. To learn more visit, coe.wayne.edu/kaplancollaborative/index.php.


About the Dr. June G. Yackness and Irvin H. Yackness Endowed Lectureship Series

The Dr. June G. Yackness and Irvin H. Yackness Endowed Lectureship Series was created in 2015 in honor of June G. Yackness — a College of Education alumna and an adjunct professor in its Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations — by her husband Irvin H. Yackness. Proceeds from the fund support a visiting lectureship within the Wayne State University College of Education on an annual basis.


About the Metropolitan Detroit Bureau of School Studies

Organized in 1946, the Metropolitan Detroit Bureau of School Studies is a voluntary organization of public school systems, community colleges and universities and business partners in Southeastern Michigan. Housed in the College of Education at Wayne State University, its mission is to support its members through the professional development of human resources and preservation of financial resources. For more information, visit metrobureau.org.


About the College of Education

For more than a century, the Wayne State University College of Education has prepared effective urban educators who are reflective, innovative and committed to diversity. Its Teacher Education Division boasts one of the most comprehensive, well-established programs in the country, and all four academic divisions offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in nearly 30 program areas, including learning design and technology, leadership and policy, kinesiology, sports administration, education evaluation and research, health education, educational psychology, and counseling. To learn more, visit coe.wayne.edu.   


About Wayne State University 

Wayne State University, located in the heart of Detroit’s Midtown Cultural Center, is a premier urban research institution offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students. For more information, visit wayne.edu

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