Education budget makes highest per-pupil investment in state’s history
FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan education budget to improve school infrastructure, fund teacher recruitment, bolster school safety, and more.
The budget is the highest state per-student investment in Michigan’s history, according to Whitmer.
“Every kid in every district deserves to feel safe and supported in school, and I am proud today to sign a historic, bipartisan education budget that will make game-changing investments to improve every student’s in-class experience,” Whitmer said. “The budget makes the highest state per-student investment in Michigan history to help schools buy new textbooks, offer more personalized instruction, and bolster AP and honors classes. It also bolsters resources for special education, at-risk funding, and career and technical education while expanding slots in free after-school and preschool programs. Finally, to improve the on-campus experience, the budget invests a quarter of a billion dollars in school infrastructure to build or renovate everything from classrooms, computer labs, and libraries, and significantly expands teacher recruitment programs so we attract and train thousands of educators every year. This budget is proof of what is possible when we put our students first and stay focused on getting things done.”
The budget includes:
- $9,150 per-pupil funding for every kid, in every public school district, highest state amount ever.
- $214 per-pupil mental health and school safety funding for every kid, in every public school district.
- Additional funding to meet students’ individual needs for all of the nearly 200,000 special education and 710,000 at-risk students.
- 1,300 more free preschool slots in the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).
- $250 million for school infrastructure.
- $10,000 in tuition for 2,500 future Michigan educators every year.
At $9,150 per-pupil, the budget includes the highest state per-pupil funding in the state’s history. The budget also includes additional support for the nearly 200,000 special education students and 710,000 at-risk students in Michigan.
Free preschool has been expanded to 1,300 more kids under the Great Start Readiness Program. Funding for career and technical education programs expanded by 27 percent.
Every school will receive funds dedicated for mental health. This will go toward teen centers, district mental health grants, and TRAILS, which offers training to school mental health professionals so they can better serve students with evidence-based services.
Before and after-school programs have been expanded. This will fund the MI Kids Back on Track program, which offers tutoring help to children in Michigan, and resources for districts to develop learning pods for academically at-risk and economically disadvantaged students.
Schools will be able to hire more on-campus school resource officers, create an intervention system for at-risk students, and establish a safety commission with dedicated funding from the budget.
Schools can improve their classrooms, labs, and libraries with the budget’s dedicated $250 million.
MI Future Educator Fellowships, which pays up to $10,000 in tuition for 2,500 future Michigan educators every year, $9,600 stipends a semester for student teachers, and Grow-Your-Own programs, which help districts put support staff on no-cost paths to become educators, received its own funding.
“We’re really happy to see school safety and mental health addressed in the budget. It really helps address some of the needs we have. It helps us keep students safer,” Freeland Community School District Superintendent Matt Cairy said.
He said they are hoping to increase the number of teachers in the future.
“It’s not always the easiest thing to find teaching staff this time of year, as we’re getting ready for our next year. This will help us hopefully increase the pool of teachers going forward,” Cairy said.
He is quick to point out the work is not done. Cairy hopes lawmakers in Lansing remember that.
“It’s hard to find something that’s more important to invest in than the education of children. I think this is a good start to making sure we’re continuing that investment in the future,” Cairy said.
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