LANSING, Mich. – On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield released the following statement after reaching a bipartisan budget agreement, which includes adjustments to the fiscal year 2020 budget and allocation of Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars.
The budget agreement includes modest reductions in current year funding but also provides CARES Act funding for Michigan schools and educators, universities and community colleges, and local governments to address the significant COVID-19 costs they’re facing.
Read the statement:
“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our state budget. In this time of crisis, it is our responsibility to come together and build a budget that reflects a bipartisan commitment to the things we value most as Michiganders. This agreement provides crucial funding for Michigan families, schools, and communities grappling with costs incurred as a result of the virus.
Our collective priority is a healthy state and a healthy economy. We are committed to working together to address the remaining shortfalls in next year’s budget and we are looking to our partners in Congress for support to help maintain the essential services relied upon by our families and small businesses.”
Additionally, Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart released the following statement regarding this evening’s announcement of the agreement between the governor and legislative leaders on the current year’s state budget.
“I applaud Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders for working together to minimize the negative impact on schools, students and public education employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This budget agreement prevents education funding cuts for the current fiscal year and, looking ahead, will help finalize plans to safely reopen schools in the fall.
“While the additional $53 million to recognize the hard work of teachers is appreciated, its scope is too narrow. MEA will be advocating that these funds be divided fairly among all school employees – not just teachers – in recognition of the efforts of education support professionals throughout this pandemic, including sanitizing facilities, making and delivering meals, and completing other critical work to keep students learning.
“It should be noted this budget does nothing to address expected shortfalls in next year’s budget, and we should be enhancing – not scaling back – our support for students and educators. To do that, I continue to urge the U.S. Senate to approve additional relief funding for schools in the HEROES Act so we can ensure safety and academic progress for our students next year.”
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