The Youth Policy Lab (YPL) and Michigan Education Data Center (MEDC) have together learned a great deal in our first few years of operation, and we are now positioned for high-impact work in the State of Michigan. Specifically, both entities now have formal data-sharing agreements executed with the state and have solidified our relationships with the new gubernatorial administration. Additionally, YPL is about to place two Data & Policy Fellows in two state departments, which we understand is a first for the University of Michigan. We are poised to leverage the accomplishments over the next year and beyond, particularly as the new administration settles in and department leaders are hired.
That said, we are requesting six months of additional operational funding to ensure we can convert these accomplishments into a successful and long-lasting partnership. This funding is needed for several reasons: First, our executive leadership was hired less than one year ago and in both cases is still working to implement a viable financial sustainability plan. Further, we know that operational funds are the most difficult to raise, and with the additional time and resources, we can advance our partnerships with the state to a stage where project dollars become a more feasible and reliable source of revenue for both project and operational costs. And finally, MEDC?s sustainability plan will not be fully operational until December 2019, which is a critical to ensuring its viability in the long-term.