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MI education department reports spike in low-performing schools needing state intervention

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr

A new report finds a spike in the number of Michigan schools needing state involvement to counter low academic performance.

The Michigan Department of Education identified 54 Michigan school districts with one or more low-achieving schools.

Peter Spadafore, the executive director of the Michigan Alliance for Student Opportunity – a group of some of the state's most disadvantaged school districts – said the results are not surprising, given the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a generational experience that had a significant impact on learning,” Spadafore said of the pandemic.

He said the report shows a need to change how the state funds education, and that the short-term infusions of cash that care from pandemic recovery funding won’t fuel long-term change.

“Yes, we’ve seen investments last year and the year before, and we have COVID money that we are still spending, but we need to have systemic reform – a systemic change in the way we fund schools,” Spadafore said.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.