MI Governor Signs $500 Million Education Budget, State’s Highest Per Student Investment

FLINT, Mich. (WXYZ) — Governor Whitmer today ratified a bipartisan education budget, making it the highest state investment per student in Michigan history. Through the investment, Michigan students will receive half a billion dollars in school infrastructure funding, fund teacher recruitment, strengthen school safety, expand mental health resources and more.

“Every child in every district deserves to feel safe and supported in school, and I’m proud today to sign a historic, bipartisan education budget that will make rule-changing investments to improve every student’s classroom experience,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer .

“The budget makes the highest per-pupil state investment in Michigan history to help schools purchase new textbooks, offer more personalized instruction and support AP and honors classes. It also strengthens resources for special education, at-risk funding, and career and technical education, while expanding slots for free after-school and preschool programs. Finally, to improve the campus experience, the budget invests a quarter of a billion dollars in school infrastructure to build or renovate everything from classrooms, computer labs and libraries, and greatly expands teacher recruitment programs so that we attract and train thousands of teachers each year. This budget is a testament to what is possible when we put our students first and stay focused on getting things done.”

Next, Whitmer says, is a breakdown of how the multimillion-dollar budget will be distributed.

Education budget in numbers

  • $9,150 in per-pupil funding for every child, in every public school district, the highest statewide amount ever.
  • $214 per student in school mental health and safety funding for every child, in every public school district.
  • Additional funding to meet individual student needs for all of the nearly 200,000 special education and 710,000 at-risk students.
  • 1,300 more free preschool places in the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).
  • $250 million for school infrastructure.
  • $10,000 in tuition for 2,500 future Michigan educators each year.

Education budget breakdown
The education budget can be divided into six key sections: students, mental health, learning support, student safety, school infrastructure and teacher recruitment.

1) Students
For students, the highest state funding per student in Michigan history — $9,150 for students in each district. Additional support for nearly 200,000 special education students and 710,000 at-risk students in Michigan. Expansion of free pre-school preparation under the Great Start Readiness program for another 1,300 children. Expand funding for career and technical education programs by 27%.

2) Mental health
Dedicated mental health dollars for every student in every school. Increase funding for teen centers, district mental health grants, and TRAILS, which offers training to school mental health professionals so they can better serve students with evidence-based services.

3) Training supports
Expanding before and after school programs to keep kids engaged. Funding for MI Kids Back on Track, Governor Whitmer’s proposal to offer every child in Michigan tutoring to catch up and get on a path to long-term success, and resources for districts to develop learning packages for students at academic risk and economic unequal position.

4) Student safety
Dedicated school safety dollars for every student in every school. Funds to hire more school resource officers on campus, create an at-risk student intervention system that brings law enforcement, schools and mental health professionals together, and create a school safety committee.

5) School infrastructure
$250 million for school infrastructure. Resources to help schools build or renovate classrooms, labs and libraries. Means of assessing the current state of school infrastructure, determining further funding.

6) Recruitment of teachers
Funding for MI Future Educator Fellowships, which pay up to $10,000 to train 2,500 future Michigan educators each year, $9,600 per semester in scholarships for student teachers, and Grow-Your-Own programs, which help districts put support staff on free trails to become teachers. Additional funding for career and technical education teachers and the Troops-to-Teachers program, which connects veterans with teacher mentors as they work to become certified teachers. Finally, a sound investment to ensure retired teachers a stable and secure retirement.

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