Lawmakers Debate Extra Education Funding - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lawmakers Debate Extra Education Funding

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - Education supporters are promoting a new budget proposal at the Capitol.

The proposal would add an additional $179 per student in the state.

As 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick reports, the hope is to do this without raising taxes.

There's one vote and there could be more.

These education lobbyists want to re-shuffle some of the money in the school budget bill and re-direct it into what they call the Foundation Grant, the amount of money that goes to every student in the state.

And they can do it without raising taxes, but taking money from these special services called categorical, such as the virtual university and other programs, here's the math:

Funding Proposal

  • (1) Gov: $111 Hike
  • (2) $167 Increase
  • (3) $290 Boost
  • (4) $250 Rich Schools

This School Board Lobbyist argues this allows local schools to decide where the money goes, not the state and all schools are treated the same.

Don Wotruba, School Board Lobbyist: "It spreads it across everybody. The locals, teachers, and principals decide how to spend it because they know what is best for their community.

State Senator Rick Jones (r), Grand Ledge: "Categorical's pick winners and losers. There's no place for that in education. Every child should receive the same amount of money."

This lawmaker wants to continue the conversation on this, but he has one concern. If you put more money into the per pupil grant right now, what happens if there is an economic hiccup and there's not enough money to fund the increases down the road?

State Representative Bill Rogers (r), K-12, Budget Chair: "If there is a hiccup and we don't have enough money sitting there to cover that increase, we could run into a problem and then they're going to be infuriated."

Lawmakers are just starting their review of the idea, but it has not been rejected out of hand.

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