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Legislative Budget Proposals Again Set Aside Funds for Online Algebra Tool

Aaron Keel

By Aaron Keel, MASB Assistant Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, April 5, 2017

In the current fiscal year, the Legislature has allocated $1.5 million for an online algebra tool contract that was awarded to Algebra Nation with the intent of raising poor high school student math scores.

For the next fiscal year, the Governor has recommended eliminating funding for this program, while the Senate includes $1.2 million and the House recommends $1 million to continue the contract for 2017-2018, as well as a $100 placeholder for an additional math tool. Both the House and Senate School Aid subcommittees heard testimony from Algebra Nation earlier this year, and many legislators continue to see it as a way to improve the state’s math scores. We will keep you updated as this conversation moves forward in the budget process.

In the meantime, here’s a little bit more about the tool itself: Launched in Michigan in January, Algebra Nation is an online and mobile algebra resource custom built specifically for Michigan students and teachers in concert with professors at Grand Valley State, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan-Flint. It is available to every district, school, teacher and student (and their parents) statewide at no cost, and includes resources such as instructional videos for Algebra 1, a workbook that complements the videos, interactive online tutoring and extensive resources for teachers.

The tool takes all student situations into consideration offering an online app for cell phones that can be downloaded on older model phones as long as it has video-playing capabilities, and there is also a paper workbook for students who may not have internet access at home. Along with being used in Michigan, Algebra Nation is in its fourth year of use in Florida, and was recently launched in New York City. Additionally, pilot programs exist in Mississippi and Alabama. If your district is interested in learning more about Algebra Nation, contact Kayleigh Edgecombe at 313.288.9482 or Kayleigh@AlgebraNation.com.

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