Proposals also provide stability for essential services at local level
State Rep. Jack O’Malley and the Michigan House tonight approved a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year with record-high investments in K-12 students and stable funding for government services.
The House’s school aid plan ensures equitable per-student foundation funding across Michigan while providing a record-high $16.7 billion for the school aid fund. This total is up nearly 8 percent overall from the current year, which allows for the closing of the per-student foundation funding gap.
All districts would get $8,700 per student in the foundation allowance, which for most districts equates to a 7-percent increase. All districts would get at least 2 percent more.
“Closing the foundation funding gap is something that has been in the works for over two decades, but the state hasn’t been able to get it across the finish line,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “This is a tremendous investment for northern Michigan families and their kids as we work to educate future generations. It is especially important as we emerge from COVID-19, as children have lost valuable learning time in the classroom.”
The plan addresses K-12 funding. The budget for community colleges and universities will be addressed in a future measure.
Features of the plan include:
- Federal COVID relief funding with equalization payments to ensure every school gets at least $1,093 in additional funding per student. More than $4 billion in federal COVID relief for schools was approved overall today, in addition to the money in the regular school aid fund for next fiscal year.
- The Great Start Readiness Program receiving an additional investment of $168 million to significantly increase the amount of funding per child while also creating thousands of new openings for the program statewide.
- More resources invested in special education, career and tech equipment, and many other initiatives to help give every student a better chance to thrive. A one-time $560 million investment into the school retirement system will help ensure promised benefits get paid while freeing up money for the classroom in future years.
The state’s general fund will be roughly the same size as in the current budget year with adjustments mainly to reflect caseload changes and other economic factors – enabling strong support for public health, public safety and other critical initiatives. A 2-percent increase in statutory revenue sharing will help local governments maintain essential services. More resources are available for foster care, direct care workers, dam safety and many other important functions.
The legislation now advances to the Senate for further consideration.
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