State Rep. Ben Frederick and the Michigan House today approved the state’s school budget for the upcoming fiscal year with an increase in per-pupil funding and a significant new investment in special education programs.
Frederick, of Owosso, said the plan continues the trend of increased investment in education, allocating a record $19.6 billion for Michigan students. After last year’s budget provided schools with equal per-pupil foundation allowance funding for the first time, the new plan increases the amount of each grant from $8,700 per student to a record funding level of $9,150.
The plan also further prioritizes funding for special education, at-risk students, school safety improvements, and mental health programs.
“We’ve made long-overdue changes that transform the way special education is funded in Michigan,” Frederick said. “These changes will ensure kids are placed in the programs that provide the best opportunity for them to succeed, without regard to how much funding a school will receive as a result.”
Previously, schools did not receive the full amount of per-pupil foundation allowance funding for students who were placed in certain special education programs. This created a disincentive that sometimes resulted in students who would benefit from special education instead being placed in mainstream classes, so the school would receive more funding. The new budget provides a significant portion of zdper-pupil funding for special education students, in addition to a $246 million increase in reimbursement costs to help districts improve special education services.
Other highlights of the K-12 budget plan approved today include:
- The Great Start Readiness Program is a fantastic way to help Michigan’s youngest learners prepare for school and a bright future. In the next budget year, GSRPs will receive a dramatic increase that provides them with the same $9,150 per enrollee that K-12 districts receive per student.
- A $52 million investment in learning loss grants will help kids who have fallen behind catch up. Funding will be distributed on a per-pupil basis for districts that receive grants.
- Kids who are generally considered more at risk for academic failure – because of family income or other factors – will receive extra help. A $223 million increase in funding for “at risk” students raises the total to $747.5 million.
- The budget provides $150 million in grants to help districts hire counselors and support efforts to promote mental health for students.
- Keeping students safe remains a top priority, with an additional $168 million for school safety grants and $25 million for school resource officers.
- Thousands of teachers have left their jobs during the pandemic and schools need help replacing them with high-quality candidates. The budget will invest $575 million overall to recruit, train and keep new teachers. This plan will help give teachers the support they need – including scholarships, stipends for student teachers, and resources to help districts identify and develop recruits in their own communities.
- Support career and technical education continues – including an additional $10 million specifically for recruitment and retention of CTE instructors.
An effort led by state Rep. Ben Frederick to offer additional learning resources for Michigan children who are deaf or hard of hearing will soon advance to the governor for consideration after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
“Both of these measures were brought forward in a bipartisan manner with a focus on offering more opportunities in the learning environment…
The Legislature last week gave final approval to a bipartisan plan spearheaded by state Rep. Ben Frederick to offer additional grant opportunities for adults interesting in pursuing associate degrees and certifications through the Michigan Reconnect program. The legislation now heads to Governor Whitmer for consideration.