Proposals also provide stability for essential services at local level
State Rep. Greg Markkanen and the Michigan House tonight approved a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year with record-high investments in K-12 students and stable funding for government services.
The House’s school aid plan ensures equitable per-student foundation funding across the western U.P. and Michigan while providing a record-high $16.7 billion for the school aid fund. This total is up nearly 8 percent overall from the current year, which allows for the closing of the per-student foundation funding gap.
All districts would get $8,700 per student in the foundation allowance, which for most districts equates to a 7-percent increase. All districts would get at least 2 percent more.
“This is an investment in the future of every child in Michigan – from rural areas to big population centers,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “Kids have missed valuable time in the classroom over the past year and these proposals will help our future generations get back on track and on a path to success.”
The plan addresses K-12 funding. The budget for community colleges and universities will be addressed in a future measure.
Features of the plan include:
- Federal COVID relief funding with equalization payments to ensure every school gets at least $1,093 in additional funding per student. More than $4 billion in federal COVID relief for schools was approved overall today, in addition to the money in the regular school aid fund for next fiscal year.
- The Great Start Readiness Program receiving an additional investment of $168 million to significantly increase the amount of funding per child while also creating thousands of new openings for the program statewide.
- More resources invested in special education, career and tech equipment, and many other initiatives to help give every student a better chance to thrive. A one-time $560 million investment into the school retirement system will help ensure promised benefits get paid while freeing up money for the classroom in future years.
The state’s general fund will be roughly the same size as in the current budget year with adjustments mainly to reflect caseload changes and other economic factors – enabling strong support for public health, public safety and other critical initiatives. A 2-percent increase in statutory revenue sharing will help local governments maintain essential services. Markkanen also underscored additional resources that will be made available for foster care, direct care workers, dam safety and many other important functions.
“As we work to emerge from COVID-19 with a healthy population and a healthy economy, this funding is important to sustaining jobs in these areas while providing essential services people rely on at the local level,” Markkanen said.
The legislation now advances to the Senate for further consideration.
Rep. Markkanen talks about the 63-foot spruce donated by the Fletcher family in Marenisco Township in his district that is making its way to the state Capitol to serve as Michigan’s official Christmas tree. The tree will arrive in Lansing Saturday and will be lit in ceremonies on November 19.
State Rep. Greg Markkanen today reiterated his call for an overhaul of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency after new reports disclosed far wider ineptitude than once thought. The U.S. Department of Labor warned state jobless agencies in May 2020 about implementing overly lenient qualifications for pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA). According to one report, the department […]