No funding cuts for Michigan’s schools
State Representative Gary Howell (R-Deerfield Twp.) announced this week that a new state budget has been approved by the Michigan House of Representatives. This bipartisan agreement will protect aid for K-12 schools, support our local communities, and provide for other priorities shared by Lapeer County families.
The budget plan, known has House Bill 5396, passed the House by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 101-4.
“Despite the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on our state’s economy, there will be no cuts to Michigan’s education budget,” Howell explained. “Every program will be protected, and local school districts will even receive an increase in per-pupil funding across the board.”
This budget agreement protects and maintains investment in Michigan’s most crucial public infrastructure – all without growing state government and without raising taxes. The state government must live within its means, just like all of Michigan’s citizens and job providers must do.
“Families in Lapeer County, and throughout Michigan, deserve to know that their children will continue to receive the education they deserve,” Howell said. “That is why I am proud to support this plan that prioritizes our local school districts. A few months ago, there was some serious concern that major cuts would be necessary in our state’s education budget, but we worked hard to ensure that funding would be maintained at the same level as last year. We have made sure to prioritize what is most important to Michiganders, our children.”
Under the plan, the state will dedicate about $15.5 billion to K-12 schools in the new fiscal year – exceeding the $15.3 billion originally established for the current year. Michigan’s minimum per-pupil foundation allowance will also remain steady at a record-high $8,111, with an additional one-time bonus investment expected to equal about $65 per student.
“I am also very pleased to announce that a ‘new teacher’ stipend of up to $1,500 will be offered to educators in the first three years of their careers in an effort to encourage them to remain in the field,” Howell said. “Our educators deserve our full respect and appreciation for their hard work, not just during these trying times, but always.”
Other highlights for the new fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1st include:
- Public Safety: The budget plan includes $13 million to support local-level road patrols to ensure that roadways remain safe.
- Jobs: The Legislature successfully secured more than $28 million in funding for a vital economic development program that provides training to enhance skills and talent amongst Michigan’s workforce through completive grants to employers.
- Road funding: The Legislature continues to follow through on the plan approved in 2015 to add significantly more money to road repairs every year through 2021. This plan remains intact to help ensure better roads moving forward.
The budget plan will now advance to the Governor for her approval.
State Rep. Gary Howell’s plan to allow certain types of driver’s license testing by any authorized representative that is approved by the state’s Secretary of State (SOS) is now law. Driving skills will still be tested in person.