Sen. Bumstead, MEA Prez weigh in
The state Legislature on Thursday approved record public school funding for the 2020 fiscal year.
“This afternoon’s vote was a record investment in Michigan students and teachers,” said Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “We were able to agree on a responsible plan that boosts funding for public education without raising taxes. My colleagues and I remain committed to our state’s educators as well as the taxpayers.”
School Aid will see a record investment of $15.3 billion — an increase of $424 million over last year and the largest investment in the state’s history. Under the measure approved Thursday afternoon, schools will see a foundation allowance increase of between $120 and $240 per pupil, an increase from the governor’s proposed $120-$180 formula.
Other notable items include $522 million invested to help at-risk students, a $21.5 million increase in career and technical education funding, and a $60 million increase for special education. The measure also includes funding to improve school safety.
“I am happy we were able to negotiate a final product that puts us one step closer to getting a budget in place,” Bumstead said. “I hope the governor signs this legislation quickly so school districts across the state can finally get their finances together.”
The 2020 K-12 budget will now go before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for consideration.
Michigan Education Association President Paula Harbert statement on passage of education budget:
"While this budget isn’t everything we had hoped for, it is a good first step to ending the decades-long underfunding of public education.
“But it is only a step. It addresses only a fraction of the $2,000 gap in per-pupil funding schools face. It doesn’t eliminate the effects of 25 years of last-in-the-nation education funding increases. For us to truly invest in the success of every student, lawmakers need to make a long-term commitment to addressing these issues.
“First, we must provide equitable funding that accounts for the differing needs of students and the differing resources needed to meet those needs. We owe it to these students – at-risk, special education, English language learners, career/technical, to name a few – to recognize that ‘equal’ and ‘equitable’ are not the same.
“If we focus only on how much we spend, and not on how we spend it, we risk leaving countless students behind because their needs are more costly.
“But we also must recognize that there is not enough revenue for our state government to fully fund our state’s priorities, including education and infrastructure. Whatever revenue options you prefer, they won’t be passed into law to fund our schools and fix our roads unless we create the political will with our leaders in Lansing to make it happen.
“I’m proud of Michigan’s educators for raising their voices to demand change in how we fund our schools – and we will continue to help others raise their voices in favor of fully solving how Michigan shortchanges its students.”
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