State Rep. Brian BeGole today criticized a signed K-12 budget for the upcoming fiscal year that prioritizes pork spending over needed learning resources for students.
The budget includes $2 billion in projects and programs that cost taxpayers and families without delivering for kids. The funds for these projects and programs could have provided nearly $1,400 more for every Michigan student and created a total per-pupil allowance of $10,968.
“Democrats crammed needless spending into this budget instead of thinking about what our kids need most,” said BeGole, of Antrim Township. “Students throughout our state are still catching up from time lost in the classroom during COVID-19. We should be working to get every dollar we can into our classrooms and ensuring no student in Michigan is left behind.”
BeGole, who voted against the plan when it was before the House, highlighted egregious examples of wasteful spending in the budget – including $1 million to create a “zen zone” in Novi for staff to de-stress, $225 million to pay off student loan debt, $4 million for enrolling kids in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library – which is a free program – and funding for pools and driver’s education courses in select areas.
The plan also commits $125 million for green buses, which BeGole said is not practical for expansive rural communities like ones he represents in Shiawassee, Saginaw and Genesee counties. Using resources in this fashion removes what could have been an additional $83 per student in per-pupil funding.
“Our education funding should not be going to pools and fulfilling radical, national agendas,” BeGole said. “This funding should be for our kids and families to ensure they’re in a position to succeed through education.”
The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
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