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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Public School Funding: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going

March 30, 2015
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

Purpose: This session will have a multifaceted approach on issues surrounding school funding. The focus will be on the different funding streams (federal, state, and local), historical events (Proposal A) and current fiscal issues impacting education. Expert speakers will contribute to the presentation and panel discussion covering healthcare and retirement costs, inequity of salaries and benefits, consolidation of services which impact school budgets.





     a. History
     b. Current


Expenditures in Education:

     a. Impact of Healthcare/Retirement Costs

     b. Restricted vs. Unrestricted funds


Consolidation of West Shore ESD


Resiging Out of Deficit- Hale Community Schools


Question and Answer Panel


Speaker Biographies:

Kathryn Summers has been with the Senate Fiscal Agency since 1999, starting as a fiscal analyst and moving up to Chief Analyst in 2006 and Associate Director in 2011. She currently works on retirement issues and on the School Aid budget, to which she has been assigned since 1998, and also has worked on the Department of Education budget. Prior to working at the Senate Fiscal Agency, Ms. Summers worked two years at the House Fiscal Agency, assigned to the budgets for Community Colleges, Department of Education, and School Aid. Ms. Summers has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Michigan-Flint and a Master's Degree in Economics from Michigan State University, where she worked as a graduate assistant.

David Martell is the Executive Director for the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO). MSBO is a professional organization for school managers who work in the non-curricular aspects of a school district, primarily in the areas of finance, accounting, payroll, purchasing, facilities, technology, transportation, human resources, and food and nutrition services. Before coming to MSBO, David worked for 10 years as the Director of Finance for Haslett Public Schools. Prior to that, he spent 9 years with Michigan State University in finance related positions. David has and is currently serving on various boards of directors and audit committees, including the Michigan Liquid Asset Fund (an investment pool with assets in excess of $1 billion), the Haslett Public Schools Board of Education, the Michigan Institute of Educational Management, and the School Employers Trust Property Casualty Fund. David has a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Kerri Harrie is the Business Manager at West Educational School District (ESD) in Ludington, Michigan. During her 15 years at West Shore ESD, she has achieved the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Certification through the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO). Her strong commitment towards education is evident in her anticipated December 2015 completion of her Master's degree in Education with an emphasis in Leadership and Technology through Michigan State University. Kerri is also a registered Certified Public Accountant in the State of Michigan. She is a longstanding member of several professional organizations: Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO), Michigan Pupil Accounting and Auditing Association (MPAA), and the Michigan Certified Public Accountants (MICPA). She has been a governing board member for the Michigan Collaborative Administrative Solutions for Education (MI-CASE) consortium since 2010. She has been an active participant of several local and regional collaborative committees during her 15 year tenure at West Shore ESD. When she isn't working or focusing on her school studies, Kerri spends time volunteering as President of the local hockey association and spending time with her family.

Ron Kraft, a 1980 graduate of Alpena High School, earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Central Michigan University. As a former special education teacher, assistant principal, special education director, principal and superintendent, Ron has enjoyed the opportunities that have accompanied each of the leadership positions that he has been afforded. As an educational leader, Ron has been honored to work in economically disadvantaged and high poverty areas leading educational reform that has attained great student achievement results while being financially responsible. The districts Mr. Kraft has led have been recognized by various state and federal organizations for numerous student achievement awards during his tenure as Superintendent. Mr. Kraft has presented to members of the Michigan Department of Education regarding proposed adjustments in the School Improvement Process, state political leaders regarding educational reform and student achievement, and U.S. House and Senate members of the education committee and aides in Washington, D.C., regarding brain research and its impact in the classroom. He has been a guest instructor at Central Michigan University, an adjunct instructor at Ferris State University, and a presenter at Michigan Association of School Administrators. Ron Kraft recently had the opportunity to work closely with the Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Department of Treasury in leading a small rural district out of a deep financial deficit. The development of a deficit elimination plan allowed him to fund the district's needs, plan for the district's wants, and dream about the district's wishes. The result of this leadership and work is that Hale Area School District was recognized by Bridge Magazine as being in the top 8% of school districts in the State of Michigan for 2014.

Learning Team Members:

Gretchen Walraven
Becky Pennington
Krishnan Sudharsan
Beth Soggs
Roxanne Balfour


Resource Material:



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