New education budget marks an investment for Michigan children

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a budget into law that provides $16.1 billion in funding for K-12 schools, community colleges and state universities.

“A quality education lays the foundation that supports a person’s success throughout their life,” Snyder said. “This funding provides a solid framework for our schools, community colleges and public universities to provide all of Michigan’s children with a P-20 education that can prepare them for their future endeavors.”

Snyder signed Senate Bill 801, the School Aid Fund budget bill, at James R. Geisler Middle School in Commerce Township.

The School Aid Fund budget totals $14.2 billion. State funding for K-12 school districts has now increased to $12.1 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion since fiscal year 2011.

“Thanks to cooperation from members of both the Michigan Senate and the House of Representatives we were able to reach an agreement on school funding in June for the sixth year in a row,” State Budget Director John Roberts said. “Schools, community colleges and state universities knowing what their funding is prior to the start of the next school year is crucial and I’m glad we were able to accomplish that again this year.”

Specific highlights of the 2017 School Omnibus bill include:

• A total of $12.1 billion in K-12 state appropriations, a $1.4 billion funding increase from fiscal year 2011, including $150 million for a per-pupil funding increase. That equates to a per-pupil increase of $60 to $120, with districts at the minimum funding level receiving the maximum increase of $120 per pupil.

• An additional 2.9 percent, or $39.8 million, for the operations of Michigan’s 15 public universities and an additional 1.4 percent, or $4.4 million, for community college operations. Tuition increases for universities must be not exceed 4.2 percent in order to receive the funding increase.

• Total funding for the school employee retirement system of $1.16 billion. This includes nearly $1.1 billion in the school aid budget, along with $5.9 million for higher education institutions who participate in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MSPERS), and $75 million for community colleges. The budget’s $93.7 million increase over current-year funding provides fiscal relief to schools for retirement obligations and helps ensure retirement promises made to employees can be kept.

• Continued support of $379 million for at-risk funding for students across the state. More than 90 percent of districts, urban and rural, receive this funding.

• An increase of $500,000, for a total of $2.5 million, in funding for the FIRST Robotics program.

• An investment of $58 million for career and technical education programs and equipment.

The bill is now Public Act 249 of 2016.

For additional information on legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.

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