MACOMB, Mich. – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law Wednesday morning that significantly increases funding for K-12 schools.
Last week, Michigan legislators approved a record $16.7 billion in funding for K-12 schools across the state. House bill 4411 raises the amount of money spent on each student from $8,100 to $8,700, and gives schools a 10% increase in funding.
A supplemental bill (House bill 4421) approved by Michigan legislators earlier in June was the bill signed by Whitmer on Wednesday. The supplemental bill releases an additional $4.3 billion to schools from designated federal COVID relief funding.
“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the type of investment in our schools that will put Michigan students and educators first as they head into the next school year,” Whitmer said in a statement Wednesday. “Our actions today prove that Republicans and Democrats in Lansing can work together to enact budgets that are laser-focused on helping Michigan take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunity we have right now to make transformative investments in our schools that will have positive impacts for generations.”
The state of Michigan has received billions of dollars in COVID relief funding from the federal government amid the pandemic.
Officials say the funds, which come from federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding, will be allocated to Michigan school districts based on need. The money will go toward classroom spending, mental health programs, early childhood education, hiring more staff and more.
“The funds help meet a wide range of needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic, including reopening schools safely, sustaining their safe operation, and addressing students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs resulting from the pandemic,” a press release reads Wednesday.
More: Michigan Legislature approves major boost in K-12 funding
Following the bill signing, Whitmer is expected to speak in St. Clair Shores to promote her proposed $150 million investment into Michigan parks and recreational facilities that was announced Tuesday.
Last month, Whitmer proposed investing another $250 million of COVID relief funding into Michigan parks and trails.
“These two new investment programs, totaling $400 million, mark a once-in-a-generation chance to improve quality of life for our residents, support local economies and bring people back to Michigan as the state continues its recovery from the effects of the pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement. “These investments will ensure our children and grandchildren continue to enjoy the rejuvenating benefits of natural beauty and outdoor spaces so prized by Michiganders. I look forward to working with the Legislature to secure this investment for our communities.”
Read: Whitmer: Allot $150M in federal rescue funds for Michigan’s local parks, trails