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Whitmer Celebrates Record Bipartisan Education Budget Investments


July 6, 2022



Gov. Whitmer Celebrates Record Bipartisan Education Budget Investments in Michigan Students, Classrooms, and Schools

Highest state per-student funding ever, more for on-campus mental health, special education, after-school programming, preschool, teacher recruitment, and nearly half a billion for school infrastructure

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer highlighted investments in the recently passed bipartisan education budget for Fiscal Year 2023. The education budget includes the highest state per-student investment in Michigan history, funds to improve school infrastructure, and resources to hire more educators. The fiscally-responsible, balanced budget delivers on the kitchen-table issues, was passed on time, and does not raise taxes by a dime.

“Michigan kids deserves to feel safe and supported in school, and I am proud that we have come together to deliver a historic, bipartisan education budget that will make game-changing investments to improve student’s in-class experience,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The budget has the highest state per-student funding in Michigan history to improve kid’s in-person learning experience and help schools buy new textbooks, offer more personalized instruction, and expand AP and honors classes. It also bolsters resources for special education, at-risk students, and career and technical education while increasing slots in free tutoring, before-school, after-school, and preschool programs to get our kids back on track for long-term success. To hire and recruit the best educators for every classroom, the budget funds $10,000 in tuition for 2,500 future educators every year and offers $9,600 a semester stipend for student teachers. Finally, to improve the on-campus experience, the budget invests nearly half a billion dollars in school infrastructure to build or renovate everything from classrooms, computer labs, and libraries. As a mom, I know what this budget means for parents who want the best for their kids. It is proof of we can do when we put students first and stay focused on getting things done.”

Education Budget by the Numbers

  • $9,150 per-pupil funding for every kid, in every public school district, highest state amount ever.
  • $214 per-pupil mental health and school safety funding for every kid, in every public school district.
  • Additional funding to meet students’ individual needs for all of the nearly 200,000 special education and 710,000 at-risk students.
  • 1,300 more free preschool slots in the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).
  • $475 million for school infrastructure.
  • $10,000 in tuition for 2,500 future Michigan educators every year, up to 30,000 over the next decade.

Education Budget Investments

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

1) Students

For our students, the highest per-pupil funding in Michigan history—$9,150 for every kid, in every public school district. Additional support for the nearly 200,000 special education students and 710,000 at-risk students in Michigan. An expansion of free preschool under the Great Start Readiness Program to 1,300 more kids—allowing the state to serve over 50,000 four-year-olds. Expanding funding for career and technical education programs by 27%.

"We truly appreciate Gov. Whitmer’s leadership during this process and applaud the hard work and numerous compromises that went into the creation of this historic education budget, including unprecedented investments in At-Risk and Special Education funding. The increased K-12 funding is crucial for supporting all students across the state and increased educator development opportunities to help train and grow our next generation of educators," said Tina Kerr, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators.

“The Michigan Education Association praises Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders for coming together for the sake of our kids, parents and educators and passing this historic investment in public education,” said MEA President Paula Herbart, a veteran teacher from Macomb County. “This budget agreement is a great step forward in helping to address the challenges facing our schools and giving every child an opportunity to succeed.”

2) Mental Health

Dedicated mental health dollars for every student in every school. Increasing 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.

Today more than 40% of school-age youth report frequent feelings of hopelessness, depression, or anxiety, yet the majority lack access to effective care. This budget positions Michigan as a true leader in the creation of systemic solutions to address this growing public health emergency,” said Elizabeth Koschmann, Founder and Executive Director of TRAILS. “At TRAILS, we are eager to get to work to help schools provide their students with evidence-based mental health services. I applaud and am deeply grateful to both Governor Whitmer and our tireless State Legislature for investing in what is arguably our most valuable and cherished resource: our children.”

“The kids of Michigan are truly the beneficiaries of this budget agreement,” said Debbie Brinson, Executive Director of the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan. "This much-needed funding allows us to establish 100 more school-based health centers to help our youngest residents whose mental and physical health has been stressed by the pandemic. We are grateful to Governor Whitmer and legislative leaders for recognizing the effectiveness of establishing health care providers on school grounds, and for working together on a budget that will bring immeasurable value to kids across the state."

3) Teacher Recruitment

Funding MI Future Educator Fellowships, which pay up to $10,000 in tuition for future Michigan educators, $9,600 stipends a semester for student teachers, and Grow-Your-Own programs that help districts put support staff on no-cost paths to become educators. Additional funding for career and technical education educators and the Troops-to-Teachers program that connects veterans with mentor teachers as they work to become certified educators. Finally, a robust investment to guarantee retired teachers have a stable, secure retirement.

“Investing over a half-billion dollars in teacher recruitment initiatives is a much-needed commitment to Michigan’s students, educators, and public schools,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Funding to encourage, assist and support aspiring and new educators will help to strengthen and re-build the teaching profession, as will investments in base funding, categorical funding for students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students, children’s mental health, and school safety. Thanks to Governor Whitmer and the state legislature for listening and working together to help address the teacher shortage in Michigan.”

4) School Infrastructure

$475 million for school construction, renovations and voluntary consolidation, helping them build or refurbish classrooms, labs, and libraries. Funds to assess current state of school infrastructure, determine further funding.

“This budget is game changing for Michigan students with the greatest educational needs. We know this historic investment in our at-risk and special education students is not only the right thing to do, it’s what research tells us will improve outcomes for our most vulnerable learners. I’m proud of the work that Governor Whitmer and our legislative leaders have put into this budget that works toward greater equity in funding and serving the children who most need our support,” said Middle Cities Education Association (MCEA) Executive Director Peter Spadafore.

5) Learning Supports

An expansion of before and after-school programs to keep kids engaged. The budget offers every kid in Michigan tutoring to help catch up and get on track for long-term success, and resources for districts to develop learning pods for academically at-risk and economically disadvantaged students.

“We are delighted to see the clear priority Michigan’s leaders have put on creating strong afterschool and summer learning opportunities for youth,” said Erin Skene-Pratt, Executive Director of the Michigan Afterschool Partnership. “Robust support for community-based programming helps enrich student academic and personal outcomes, which translates to increased connection, achievement and economic opportunity decades down the road. Today’s investment is going to make a difference in getting kids back on track, and we’re incredibly excited to congratulate our state’s leaders for their foresight."

6) Student Safety

Dedicated school safety dollars for every student in every school. Funds to hire more on-campus school resources officers, create an intervention system for at-risk students that brings together law enforcement, schools, and mental health professionals, and establish a school safety commission.

“We are honored to receive this funding and look forward to working hand-in-hand with communities across Michigan to make our schools safer and ensure that every young person has the support they need to be a productive member of their community,” said Dr. Alyse Ley, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan State University, and Dr. Frank Straub, Director of the Center for Targeted Violence Prevention at the National Policing Institute. “By building stronger community partnerships we can help more young people and make our schools safer for our kids, teachers, and staff.”

Higher Education Budget by the Numbers

  • Community Colleges
  • $16 million for a 5% ongoing increase for community college operations.
  • $56 million to help students with an associate degree in nursing earn a bachelor’s in nursing.
  • $10 million for summer educational programs.
  • $9.2 million to boost adult enrollment and program completion.
  • $6 million for Michigan Reconnect short-term training for individuals 21 years and up receive a skills scholarship to a qualified occupational or private training program.
  • Universities
  • $250 million set aside to establish a new Postsecondary Scholarship Fund.
  • $55 million for university operations, a 2% to 5% increase for each university.
  • $17.7 million to bring all universities to a minimum of $4,500 for each enrolled student over the course of three years. 

Higher Education Budget Investments

The higher education budget can be broken down into two categories: community colleges and universities.

1) Community Colleges

The budget boosts funding for community college operations, summer education programs, and adult enrollment to increase the number of students and ensure they all have better on-campus resources. It also develops our workforce by putting more Michiganders on paths to good-paying, high-skill jobs. The budget helps students with associate degrees in nursing get bachelor’s degrees in nursing and fill critical healthcare jobs. It also backs skills scholarships for Michiganders 21 and up, helping them enroll in training or occupational programs.

"Michigan's community colleges are proudly preparing our residents for the jobs of today and tomorrow. We are grateful for the many investments made in our public two-year colleges in the FY23 budget.  We are particularly thrilled with the support of our plan to expand nursing education on community college campuses, in collaboration with our other higher education partners. This will be critical to ending Michigan's nursing shortage and it wouldn't be possible without the support of Governor Whitmer and Michigan legislators," said Brandy Johnson, President of the Michigan Community College Association. 

2) Universities

The budget makes critical investments in Michigan’s public universities to ensure they can provide high-quality education for years to come with a 2-5% increase for operations and a minimum of $4,500 in funding for each enrolled student. Finally, it sets up a new postsecondary scholarship fund to help more Michiganders pursue their potential.

“The final budget negotiated by legislative leaders and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer marks a significant and much-needed state reinvestment in college affordability at Michigan’s 15 public universities, which have been challenged by a more than $1 billion inflation-adjusted state disinvestment in higher education during the past 20 years. This budget sends a clear message that state lawmakers have made it a priority to provide Michiganders with the opportunity to achieve their college and career aspirations and that Michigan is committed to educating the workforce required to attract and retain the employers necessary to propel the state’s economy forward,” said Daniel Hurley, CEO, Michigan Association of State Universities.