Michigan legislature passes budget ahead of deadline, increase in funding for K-12 schools

Budget includes $65 per pupil funding increase for schools

Michigan lawmakers pass state budget with increase spending to K-12 schools

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan has a budget in place for 2021 that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she’s signing it.

The coronavirus originally had the state making dire budget predictions that there would be a more than $1 billion hole to fill. However, a massive cash infusion from the federal government in the hundreds of millions of dollars and higher than expected tax revenues meant a $250 million hole.

“We proved to the people across the state of Michigan we can balance the budget with limited revenue and no increases in taxes,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, (R-16). “There are some sacrifices, there are some cuts but none of them are draconian or surprises.”

One budget area of great concern was K-12. Schools will see no cuts, but instead a $65 per pupil funding increase.

“The other thing I’m really happy about in the School Aid Budget is we provided debt relief for school lunches,” said State Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-40).

Teachers were already slated to get hazard pay. Now school support staff will too. Twenty million dollars has been allotted for that.

Road funding gets the full $600 million expected and some programs, which were axed in the last budget like Pure Michigan, are being funded again.

An item that is being cut at a $12 million saving is the Detroit Re-Entry Center, which does prisoner programming.

The Michigan Department of Corrections is also slimming down administration for a $2.5 million saving. Budgets were completed in a bipartisan compromise ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.

“We really needed to get things done for Michiganders,” Manoogian said. “It was really important we got this done by the deadline, given the circumstances. I’m incredibly proud to have voted yes on both of these bills.”

About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.