The Michigan Legislature has approved a new schools budget that increases per-student funding for K-12 students across the state.
The bill ups the amount of money allotted per student by $120 to $240. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had initially proposed capping that funding at $180 per student.
The bill also adds $60 million to help local school districts cover the costs of special education programs, and provides an additional $74 million for Career Technical Education in the form of both per-student spending increases and $16 million in new equipment.
Michigan state Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lum)
“The legislation approved by both chambers today shows the commitment my colleagues and I made to Michigan students and teachers,” state Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) said in a press release.
Daley expressed pride in the fact that the budget adds additional funding for isolated districts and sets up a tiered system to more effectively distribute additional funds to rural districts.
“Rural districts are often overlooked, and this formula will help schools in my district get the resources they need to compete statewide,” Daley added in the release.
The bill, which still awaits Whitmer's signature, adds $424 million additional dollars from last year's budget, making this year's budget the largest investment in school funding in the state's history. Some of the additional money will also be designated to help with school safety and mental health programs.
Daley touted the bipartisan work that went into the budget and hopes Whitmer won't delay in signing the bill.
“I commend my colleagues for putting our differences aside, negotiating hard and coming up with a product that increases the investment in our schools without raising taxes," he noted.