Governor Presents 2023-2024 Budget to Legislature
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has presented her 2023-2024 budget to the Legislature, officially starting the budget season in Michigan.
In her budget, she included a $485 per-pupil increase to raise the foundation allowance to $9,608; this is a 5% increase. The proposal spreads that 5% increase to special education, English Language Learners, rural/isolated districts, at-risk students and the Great Start Readiness Program. The GSRP increase also includes an expansion of eligibility from 250% of the poverty level to 300%, taking steps toward universal access for all 4-year-olds.
MASB issued a statement in support of many of the components of the proposal. Following, we break down the School Aid Budget by relevant sections and detail her proposal. We urge you to continue to talk to your legislators about how this proposal will affect your district, other items that would be useful and the timeliness of final budget decisions. We are pushing for the School Aid Budget to be completed by mid-June or sooner.
Sec. 20 – Per-pupil foundation allowance
Increases the target foundation allowance by $458 per pupil for an allowance of $9,608, a 5% increase. It sets the cyberschool allowance at $7,687 per pupil, 80% of the target foundation allowance.
Secs. 21h and 22p – Partnership districts
Increases funding by $12 million a year for three years starting in 2023-2024. Requires access to education fiscal and policy issue training for district leadership, including school board members, and increases outcome goals to include improved graduation rates and measuring school attendance.
Sec. 22d – Rural and isolated districts
Increases funding in this section by $443,000, a 5% increase, for payments to rural and isolated districts.
Sec. 23h – Math essentials – NEW
Includes $30 million for grants to districts to support the improvement of math teaching and learning. Grant funding could be used for instructional materials or programs, math recovery specialists or just-in-time personalized support programs.
Sec. 27h – Mentor teachers – NEW
Includes $25 million for grants to districts to create mentor programs to support and retain teachers, counselors and administrators. The grants would be for stipends for mentors, materials needed and to cover out-of-class time for the mentor teacher.
Secs. 30d and 31k – Expanded breakfast and lunch programs – NEW
Includes $160 million to reimburse schools for the cost of providing free breakfast and lunch to all students. To receive the funding, a district would have to forgive all student lunch debt. Sec. 31k includes $1 million to help schools retire that debt. Districts would still have to take efforts to have families fill out relevant family income information.
Sec. 31a – At-risk funding
Increases funding by $64.7 million, a 5% increase.
Sec. 31j – Local produce in schools
Increase funding by $4.8 million to increase access to local fresh foods and support the free meals program.
Sec. 31n – School mental health and support services
Increases funding for this section by $28.9 million to $106.5 million for licensed behavioral health providers in schools. It also continues having those providers qualify for federal Medicaid match funding.
Sec. 31aa –Mental health grants
Doubles the funding for this section to $300 million for per-pupil payments to districts for activities to improve the mental health of students and staff, including hiring school psychologists, social workers, counselors and nurses, purchasing and implementing screening tools and more. The funding would be disbursed on a per-pupil basis to districts.
Secs. 32d and 39 – Great Start Readiness Program
Increases funding for the Great Start Readiness Program by 5% to match the increase to the per-pupil foundation grant and maintains the full-day rate at the same amount of $9,608. The part-day rate is set at $4,804. Expands eligibility to enroll from 250% to 300% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Sec. 32p – ISD early childhood programs
Increases funding by $13.5 million to $26.9 million for ISD early childhood programs for children from birth through age 8. The funding is to both support the programs and increase the number of eligible children who are enrolled; $4.5 million must be used for providing home visits to at-risk children and their families and $4 million must be used to improve literacy for children ages birth to age 5 by enrolling them in services through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
Sec. 35a – Third grade reading
Increases funding for this section by $15 million to increase the number of literacy coaches and the amount of the grant per ISD for the coaches.
Sec. 35i – Early literacy hubs – NEW
Includes $1.2 million to create equitable access and a network of early literacy hubs across the state to help align literacy supports for children age 5 and younger.
Sec. 35j – Literacy improvements – NEW
Appropriates $300 million to improve literacy instructional practices in local districts and ISDs. The grant money would be available to increase professional development, do a needs assessment for staff and develop a comprehensive literacy system, among other things.
Sec. 41 – English Language Learners
Increases funding by $1.3 million, a 5% increase over last year.
Sec. 51f – Special education funding
Increases funding for special education programs to 87.5% of the target foundation allowance or $8,407 per pupil.
Sec. 54d – Early On
Increases funding by $1.1 million for Early On programs for children from birth to age 3 with a developmental delay, disability or both.
Sec. 61c – CTE equipment
Increases funding for eligible career education planning districts by $7.5 million to update career and technical education equipment.
Sec. 67f – FAFSA incentives – NEW
Includes $15 million for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid completion challenge. Eligible districts would receive $50 for each 12th grade student who completes the FAFSA by June 30, 2024.
Sec. 74b – Michigan Clean School Bus grant program – NEW
Establishes the grant program with $150 million for districts to convert or replace current school buses with low to no greenhouse gas emission buses. The grants would be allocated by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.
Sec. 81 – ISD funding
Increases funding to ISDs by $3.8 million for a 5% increase over last year. Removes the requirement to include public school academies in all sponsored activities or meetings or lose funding.
Sec. 97 – School safety grants
Doubles the funding for this section to $300 million for per-pupil payments to districts and nonpublic schools to be used to increase school safety. Allowable uses include coordination with law enforcement, training on threat assessments, safety infrastructure and more.
Sec. 97g – Cybersecurity risk assessments – NEW
Includes $9 million for local districts or ISDs to contract with eligible providers to provide a cybersecurity risk assessment. The grants would be capped at $10,000 per local or ISD.
Sec. 99h – First Robotics
Increases grants for robotics by $100,000 and removes eligibility for nonpublic schools.
Sec. 147 – MPSERS rates
Makes annual adjustments to all rates.
Sec. 147a – MPSERS offset
Increases the offset for district retirement costs to $112 million and establishes calculations for the offset amount for local districts, ISDs and libraries.
Sec. 147c – MPSERS rate cap
Increases the average rate cap per-pupil amount by $115 to $1,157 and sets the rate cap per pupil for districts to a range of $4-$5,020. Also allocates $202 million to change the payroll growth assumption to 0.75%.
The Governor also repealed many of the vendor-specific sections that were included in the budget in past years and the funding for nonpublic schools.
As always, keep in mind this is just the beginning of the process and now the Legislature will create its proposals. The next Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference will be in May and that will give the Legislature and the Governor the most current revenue figures with which to set the final budget. We will keep you informed as the budget continues to move through the process.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.
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