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Governor's Budget Proposal Continues Strong Support of Students and Schools

LANSING – State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2023-24 (FY 24) continues to build on supporting the needs of students and schools in Michigan.

“Once again, Governor Whitmer has prioritized the needs of children—academic, physical, and socioemotional—in her executive budget request,” Dr. Rice said. “We look forward to working with her, her budget team, and the state legislature to ensure another strong budget in support of Michigan’s children.”

Governor Whitmer delivered her annual budget recommendation this morning to the state’s legislative budget committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.

In addition to the governor’s proposed five-percent increase in the state’s per pupil funding allowance and five-percent increase in funding for economically disadvantaged students, English language learners, and students in rural school districts, the governor’s executive budget proposal includes other targeted investments, as well.

Highlighted in the governor’s FY24 budget recommendations are:

  • $910.8 million to help students thrive by providing universally free breakfast and lunch, improving student physical and mental health, and improving school safety.
  • $742.4 million to help students reach their full academic potential through an expansion of existing payments for literacy grants and literacy coaches, funding to schools for additional curriculum and professional development, supporting new math intervention programs, supporting discretionary tutoring dollars to schools through the MI Kids Back on Track program, and continuing funding for before- and after-school programs.
  • $195 million in recognition of the crucial role high-quality teachers play in the success of their students, including the continuation of the MI Future Educator Program, which provides a tuition-free avenue for college students to become certified teachers. The budget also includes additional dollars to retain and develop existing teachers through mentorship programs.
  • $257.3 million for continued expansion of high-quality pre-school, one of the best ways to generate future academic and life outcomes. The budget expands access to the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) to families with income levels up to 400% of the federal poverty level, instead of the current level of 300%.
  • $79.9 million more for support of students with disabilities.
  • $50 million for expanded efforts to recruit and retain educators in the early childhood sector.
  • $300 million for the MI Climate Plan/Healthy Schools Grant Program for mitigation of health and safety issues in schools, in recognition of the ongoing challenges faced by districts to update and maintain buildings as they continue to educate children.
  • $150 million to support the modernization of school transportation vehicles through matching grants to school districts for purchasing buses powered with electric motors.

“The governor’s focus on student health and the environments in which they learn is unprecedented in this state,” said Dr. Pamela Pugh, State Board of Education President. “Her proposed MI Climate Plan/Healthy Schools Grant Program is a necessary investment and commitment to ensure healthy children across Michigan.”

“The governor’s budget recommendation helps drive all eight goals of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan and particularly helps in the expansion of Great Start Readiness Program pre-school and the improvement of early literacy, the two development upstream goals of the plan, as well as the improvement of health, safety, and wellness through the provision of more meals for our children and more school-based physical and mental services for our children,” Dr. Rice said.

Other investments in the governor’s executive budget recommendation support the Top 10 Strategic Education Plan goals of increasing the numbers of certified teachers in areas of shortage (Goal 7 of the Top 10 Strategic Education Plan); improving the health, safety, and wellness of all learners (Goal 3); and provision of adequate and equitable school funding (Goal 8).

Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan was approved by the State Board of Education in August 2020 with input from more than 10,000 Michiganders.