Home Education The Michigan House budget increases funding for schools, bans transgender athletes

The Michigan House budget increases funding for schools, bans transgender athletes


The House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate approved separate school spending plans this week, taking part in talks on whether to reduce debt or invest in recruiting new teachers and mental health efforts.

House lawmakers on Thursday adopted a $ 19.9 billion school aid budget that increases spending by 15%, pays off pension debt and prohibits transgender girls from engaging in scholastic sports teams.

65-38 voted, most Republicans in favor and most Democrats against.

The Senate adopted its own The school aid budget is $ 17.9 billion on Wednesday 20-15 votes, without any support from Democrats.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer suggested The education budget is $ 18.4 billion which invests significant funds in the recruitment and maintenance of teachers is a lower priority for both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Now the bipartisan conference committee has to agree on different plans.

It is clear only that any transaction will increase the cost of education the current budget is $ 17 billion. З the economy is recoveringa income surplusand billions of federal aid from COVID, lawmakers see opportunities for that cut taxes and repay the debt while still having enough to invest in new programs.

Senator Dale Zorn, a Republican from Olmsted, said in a written statement that it is important to provide tax breaks for families facing inflation.

Rosemary Bayer, an aide to the Senate Democratic Whip, wants the state to make up for years of underinvestment in schools.

“The money can be used for real, but there is a group of Republicans who do not want to spend it,” said Bayer of Kiga Harbor near Pontiac.

Democrats in the Senate have sought to reduce funding for online charter school students, increase funding for traditional public school students, and allocate $ 1.5 billion to bonus teacher retention program Whitmer suggested. Republicans voted against the effort, but allowed one amendment that provides $ 6 billion to support mental health, safety and repair structures. Oxford High Schoolwhere last year a student with a gun killed four and wounded seven.

The House of Representatives budget will increase funding per student by $ 300, bringing it to $ 9,000. The Senate version requires $ 9,150 per student. The governor’s offer is $ 9,135, but exempts online schools from raising.

The House bill also adds a $ 1.7 billion payout to reduce the state’s unsecured pension liabilities by $ 33.7 billion in the Michigan Public Schools pension system.

Democrats prefer to direct this money to invest in special education, recruit teachers and fund students from at-risk groups such as English learners and children from the economically disadvantaged.

The House of Representatives budget “simply does not provide support for Michigan children, Michigan teachers, Michigan schools and the future needs of Michigan,” spokeswoman Regina Weiss of Oak Park said Thursday.

“If we lack funding for our public school system, we all suffer,” she added.

Earlier, Republicans in the House of Representatives rejected her attempt to remove a language that requires public school districts to ban transgender girls from playing in women’s sports teams. Weiss said the demand is to force schools to discriminate, disgrace and nominate students in ways that encourage bullying.

Republicans say it’s a matter of justice and opportunities for cisgender females.

State MP Brad Packet, a Republican from Nils who sponsored the school budget bill, formulated the argument in religious terms. “The person God created as a boy has certain physical advantages over the person God created as a girl,” he said. The package is the Deputy Chair of the House Education Committee and the Chair of the Budget Subcommittee of the Michigan Department of Education.

The school aid budget is part of a bigger package of expenses This week, the House of Representatives and Senate decided to fund government agencies for the state’s next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Administrators are hoping to approve the school aid budget much earlier to have confidence by July 1, the start of fiscal year for school districts.

Many changes are expected before the final version hits Whitmer’s table.

“The budget is setting priorities, and in this budget plan, the priorities are educating children, improving our economy, and supporting families struggling to increase spending,” said Jim Stamas, a Republican from the Midlands.

On a press conference On Thursday in Grand Rapids, head of state Michael Rice told reporters he hoped for a compromise that would increase funding for English language learners and economically disadvantaged students whose educational needs are greater than those of other students. He also wants the legislature to fund the governor’s proposals on bonuses for maintaining and improving infrastructure.

Tracy Mauriello covers public education policy for Chackbitt Detroit and Bridge Michigan. Contact her at tmauriello@chalkbeat.org.

Comparison of Michigan budget plans

The governor’s proposal Home budget The Senate budget
Increases state basic funding, known as fundraising, from $ 8,700 per student to $ 9,135 per student, but excludes cyber schools from the increase. Increases basic tuition to $ 9,000 per student. Increases base tuition to $ 9,150 per student.
Provides $ 150 million to intermediate districts working in partnership with the TRAILS program (Turning Research into Action to Improve Student Lives), which helps students with mental health. The current budget provides $ 5.4 million. DOES NOT FINANCE TRAILS. Provides $ 10 million for TRAILS.
Allocates $ 171 million in state support for infrastructure and capital projects in local areas. Does not include. Does not include.
Increases funding for the Great Start Readiness Program by $ 435 per student, which is $ 9,135 per student. Maintains current costs of $ 8,700 per student. Maintains current costs of $ 8,700 per student.
Increases the amount that the state reimburses the district for the cost of special education from 31% to 36%. Increases special education reimbursement rate to 38% Does not increase the compensation rate.
Invests $ 1.5 billion in bonuses for retaining teachers and staff who remain at work. Also invests $ 150 million in scholarships, tuition fees and mentoring programs for new teachers. Invests $ 529 million in efforts to recruit and retain teachers, including scholarships for specialties in education, compensation for student faculty, and support for self-help growth programs that offer pathways to support staff and high school students to become faculty. Provides scholarships of $ 25 million for education majors.

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