Education News

Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs education budget: Here’s what’s in it

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the education budget on Thursday, which is the highest state per-pupil investment ever.

The budget aims to provide funds to build up school facilities, hire and train educators and improve mental health resources and school safety.

What is in the education budget?

There is $9,150 per-pupil funding for every kid, in every public school district. That’s the highest state amount ever.

In every public school district there will be $214 per-pupil mental health and school safety funding for every kid

There will be additional funding to meet students’ needs for each of the nearly 200,000 special education and 710,000 at-risk students.

The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) gets 1,300 more free preschool slots. There is $250 million for school infrastructure and $10,000 in tuition for 2,500 future Michigan educators every year.

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Breaking down the budget

In a press release, the state broke down the education budget into six key sections: students, mental health, learning supports, student safety, school infrastructure, and teacher recruitment.

Those breakdowns provided in the press release are available below:

Students: For our students, the highest state per-pupil funding in Michigan history—$9,150 for students in every district. Additional support for the nearly 200,000 special education students and 710,000 at-risk students in Michigan. An expansion of free preschool under the Great Start Readiness Program to 1,300 more kids. Expanding funding for career and technical education programs by 27%.

Mental Health: Dedicated mental health dollars for every student in every school. Increasing funding for 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.

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Learning Supports: An expansion of before and after-school programs to keep kids engaged. Funding for the MI Kids Back on Track, Governor Whitmer’s proposal to offer every kid in Michigan tutoring to help catch up and get on track for long-term success, and resources for districts to develop learning pods for academically at-risk and economically disadvantaged students.

Student Safety: Dedicated school safety dollars for every student in every school. Funds to hire more on-campus school resources officers, create an intervention system for at-risk students that brings together law enforcement, schools, and mental health professionals, and establish a school safety commission.

School Infrastructure: $250 million for school infrastructure. Resources to help schools build or refurbish classrooms, labs, and libraries. Funds to assess current state of school infrastructure, determine further funding.

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Teacher Recruitment: Funding MI Future Educator Fellowships, which pay 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 that help districts put support staff on no-cost paths to become educators. Additional funding for career and technical education educators and the Troops-to-Teachers program that connects veterans with mentor teachers as they work to become certified educators. Finally, a robust investment to guarantee retired teachers have a stable, secure retirement.

Read: More education coverage

What officials are saying about the budget

“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.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

“The governor’s new budget will help address serious challenges in our local schools, including the educator shortage, student mental health, and post-pandemic learning support. Every child deserves a quality education and an opportunity for success, and the governor’s budget will go a long way toward achieving that vital goal.”

Paula Herbart, President of the Michigan Education Association and a veteran teacher from Macomb County

“Gov. Whitmer has worked effectively with the legislature and came through for students and educators, this time with a strong budget that represents the largest per-pupil investment in our state’s history. The increase in support for at-risk and special education students is critical, as it will better position schools to set vulnerable kids up for success. The move to further invest in both career and technical education and colleges and universities also reaffirms the governor’s commitment to strengthening our economy and ensuring Michigan students have options for their future.”

David Hecker, President of the American Federation of Teachers Michigan

“In addition to increasing funding for our students with the greatest need, the significant investments in mental health and school safety will help ensure that students are safe and supported at school so they can reach their potential. The funding for new teacher recruitment is an important step in building back our educator workforce so all Michigan students have access to the education professionals who support their learning. Thank you to Governor Whitmer and the legislature for passing a historic budget that invests in all students.”

Jason Messenger, Principal of Portage West Middle School and President of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals Board of Directors

“After years of school underfunding, the FY23 budget has the potential to be the budget to which we point in the future as the pivot point in the strengthening of public education in Michigan, the year when we made the most substantial strides toward adequate and equitable school funding. Great work on the part of the governor and legislature, and the many others who contributed to make it happen.”

State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice

“I applaud the strong bipartisan efforts of Governor Whitmer and the state legislature to put children and educators as a top priority heading into the next school year. Michigan has the resources now to build a stronger foundation for all kids to succeed from their earliest years, and the governor and legislature have stepped up in a big way with this budget.”

State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra UlbrichCopyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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