'Detroit Rising' podcast: Barton Malow's Doug Maibach focuses on school finance reform


Barton Malow Enterprises Chairman Doug Maibach has gotten deep in the weeds of public education finance lately to better understand what it costs to educate a child to the state’s standards — and to his standards as an employer in the construction industry, where measurements and following instructions matter.

“Is it fair to have an expectation that they be able to read, that they would be able to understand basic math? I think it is,” Maibach said in an interview for the Crain’s “Detroit Rising” podcast. “In Michigan, we’re failing them. We’re 41st in the nation in reading.”

Maibach is part of a group of business, education and civic leaders who recently commissioned the latest study of Michigan’s public education financing.

The Barton Malow executive talked about public education funding in a podcast interview at Sister Pie bakery in Detroit with Wayne Regional Education Service Agency Superintendent Randy Liepa and Michael Addonizio, professor of education policy at Wayne State University.

Liepa and Addonizio are also part of the School Finance Research Collaborative.

The group’s study concluded the base annual cost of educating a child to the state’s standards is $9,590 per year.

“It’s essentially a costing-out study,” Addonizio said. “The analysis doesn’t indicate where the money is to come from.”



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