Michigan school tutoring funds not likely until spring state officials say

Michigan lawmakers and the governor signed an education budget in July that includes USD $150 million for academic support including individualized tutoring to address 'unfinished learning' as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic's impact on education is ongoing - as students remain behind in reading and math levels due to lost classroom time.

The tutoring funds are an effort to support students' literacy. Public school districts are required to implement evidence-based practices and ensure the programmes include appropriate training. Schools are also required to collect and share data about student demographics, tutoring frequency and outcomes. The state will use the data to determine the effectiveness of the tutoring programmes and to calculate funding across districts.

Kimberly Dadisman, associate director of policy, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab North America (J-PAL), a global research center that supports evidence-based policy to help reduce poverty, called for additional research on the impact of tutoring programmes in schools. “There hasn’t been a lot of rigorous studies around how to scale up tutoring,” she said, noting that this research is critical in encouraging state and federal leaders to allocate funds for tutoring programmes in the future. Given that the pandemic catalysed the emergence of high-impact tutoring models including those that are partially supported by computer-assisted learning, Dadisman expects more research on tutoring to be produced over the next year.

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