Advocacy is at the forefront of our work, and we do it with one goal in mind: to build an equitable foundation in education. The Michigan Alliance for Student Opportunity advocates for expanded opportunities so students can build on what they’ve already accomplished, regardless of circumstance or need.

group of children in a school hallway
The problem

Our educational system is failing students. Lack of resources and opportunities translates into missed potential and underperformance, especially for those with social and economic disadvantages. Decades and decades of a neglectful system have formed a status quo that ignores student needs on an individual level. With little opportunity, many students and their families are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.

The solution

Simply put, our schools need more money. With increased investment, vital programs will no longer need to be cut to keep the doors open. In fact, more programs can thrive — from science to the arts — so every student can develop their passions. More teachers can be hired so every student receives the attention they deserve in the classroom.

And that’s just the start. By addressing the lack of investment in our schools through educational finance reform, every student will get the opportunities they need to build the life they envision for themselves.

woman teaching in a classroom
Parents: Schools Are Underfunded; Teachers and Students Need More Support
In the weeks leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, superintendents in the Middle Cities Education Association (MCEA) called for a survey of parents to learn their priorities and gauge their understanding of issues facing their school districts. Parents across the MCEA districts said their schools were underfunded and called for greater resources to help teachers and students succeed.

teacher in front of kids
Now, More than Ever, Our Schools Need Resources to Support Students
Take action today – use the resources below to learn who your elected officials are, what opportunities we have to advocate from the comfort of your own home, federal and state legislation, and more! For a mobile friendly experience, please download the Voter Voice app on iTunes and Google Play and use the key words “Middle Cities” to find our page.
The Work

We develop solutions to address current issues, coordinating with other stakeholders to generate support for policies to better serve the needs of socially, economically, and educationally disadvantaged students.

Over the years, we’ve worked diligently to close the funding gap between the highest and lowest funded districts, urging lawmakers to think about differentiated funding to address the unique needs of students.

The Alliance has been especially active in school restructuring, finance, and education reform efforts — all key areas that will determine a better future for students.

Numerous Alliance school district representatives and Alliance staff serve on state policy committees and advisory groups, which affords us direct input into state-level decision making.

Teacher and student both wearing masks
In FY 23, we successfully lobbied to see the largest investment in at-risk funding, special education, and English language learning funding in Michigan’s history.
Successfully enjoined the MDE from implementing an accreditation system which was discriminatory for our students with the greatest educational needs
Protected the use of Title I funding for kindergarten when the state sought to require full day kindergarten
Convened weekly meetings for approximately a year with virtually all the K-12 attorneys to prevent Natasha Baker/EAA from closing local schools
Worked through initiatives like Poverty Matters with others to substantially increase funding for at-risk students

September 7, 2022

Holland Public Schools teacher Bill Boerman was named a Regional Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Department of Education and is a finalist for the state’s top teacher award.