Whitmer signs record $20B education budget

By: - July 14, 2022 12:14 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs the FY 2023 K-12 budget at Mott Community College | Whitmer office photo

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Flint’s Mott Community College on Thursday to sign a $19.6 billion education budget to address student resources, school safety, school infrastructure, teacher retention and more.

The state’s K-12 budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 is the largest education budget in Michigan history, with a historic investment of $9,150 per student.

“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.

“… This budget is proof of what is possible when we put our students first and stay focused on getting things done.”

What is (and isn’t) in the state’s biggest K-12 budget yet?

The budget marks a 12% increase over last year’s budget. It includes $610 million to increase the base per-pupil funding by 5.2%, from $8,700 to $9,150.

Whitmer was joined for the Thursday ceremony by Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Genesee ISD Superintendent Steve Tunnicliff and Flushing Community Schools teacher/parent Amy McInerney.

The bipartisan FY 2023 School Aid budget was adopted by the Legislature earlier this month and met with mostly praise from educators. The new budget year starts Oct. 1.

The new investment of $19.6 billion is a significant increase in school funding compared to the Fiscal Year 2022 School Aid budget, which totaled $17.1 billion, and the $15.5 billion School Aid budget the year before.

Next year’s larger budget comes as the state still has a more than $5 billion surplus through FY 2023, thanks to increased state revenue and federal dollars in COVID-19 aid.

The budget includes:

  • $9,150 per-pupil funding
  • $214 per-pupil mental health and school safety funding
  • $168 million for school safety grants
  • $150 million for per-pupil grants to districts to address student mental health
  • Increased funding for Michigan’s nearly 200,000 special education and 710,000 at-risk students
  • Increased funding for teen centers, district mental health grants and the TRAILS program
  • $25 million to hire more on-campus school resource officers
  • $15 million for cross-system interventions
  • 1,300 more free preschool slots in the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)
  • $250 million for school infrastructure
  • $9,600 in tuition for 2,500 for student teachers
  • $20 million for Teach for America

Special education students will receive $9,150 per-pupil amount, regardless of time spent in the general education classroom, plus 28%. The funding will be phased in over two years, starting with 75% of the funding within the first year and 100% of the funding in the second year. 

“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,” said Paula Herbart, president of the Michigan Education Association (MEA).

The Democratic governor also indicated that she plans to soon sign an executive directive to create a “Michigan Parents Council,” with the goal of including more voices from across the state to ensure budgets and policies are reflective of diverse Michigan perspectives.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).

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