There's no magical spending threshold for student success. Solutions are also complicated by the fact that children with different needs require different levels of support.
To better understand those needs — and what it will cost to meet them — a state can commission what's called an "adequacy study."
Most states have already done at least one.
Michigan is a late-comer. Its first adequacy study is due out this month.
Many times, states get back their adequacy studies and do nothing.
But it's a start.
The story of Michigan's quest for the perfect dollar amount is part of the NPR reporting project School Money, a nationwide collaboration between NPR's Ed Team and 20 member station reporters exploring how states pay for their public schools and why many are failing to meet the needs of their most vulnerable students.