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LETTER: Schools should be at equal per-student funding rate


I have never understood why Michigan funds K-12 on a per-student basis but universities on some other formula.

Yet, I have done little research into the matter until the recent budget proposal by Michigan’s recently elected governor, Rick Snyder. The budget has created an immense degree of controversy, especially concerning a topic close to home: university funding.

I did some thinking on the matter and wanted to explore the possible funding of Central Michigan University under an “equal funding” scenario — per-student funding.

Though my scientific method is basic, as this is a letter and not a research project, my intention is to illustrate a philosophy, not the merits of a specific argument. Further, I have done my best to minimize calculation errors and apologize if any exist, there were many numbers to work with but I did audit myself. My information, unless otherwise noted, came from www.collegedata.com.

In essence, I have researched the total number of students attending Michigan’s fifteen public universities: 298,220. I then found the budget that governor Rick Snyder has proposed for the fifteen universities, including the tuition incentive grants of $1,207,234,700. I then took this total and divided it by 298,220 to find the “per student funding” that should exist, which is $4,048.13. Under the current funding system, CMU would receive only $2,499.78 per student.

Then, I thought it would be interesting to see what CMU would get under the current budget with my plan in mind. Under the budget proposal, CMU will get $68,108,900 for the fiscal year 2012. With 27,246 students at CMU, we should be funded $110,295,349.98 at a $4,048.13 per student rate.

According to Central Michigan Life, $80,132,000 is the funding CMU received in the fiscal year 2011. We would experience not a 23.3 percent cut as indicated in a Central Michigan Life story, but an increase! Some schools, as a result, would lose funding, but I encourage you to explore how many schools would lose funding and how unequal the funding is.

I bring this up because it is something to think about as well as the following: Are not all students of equal value and deserve equal opportunity? Are we funding buildings or students?

Is this something that CMU faculty, administrators and students could agree on to pursue together, perhaps something that we all have in common and where literally everyone wins? This could unite us as a university.

Justin Robillard

Whitehall senior

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