LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she wants to invest more money into Michigan schools. Her main goal is to bridge the education gap between low-income and affluent districts.
Education leaders say that this move is long overdue.
“This is an opportunity to address decades of under funding for education and it’s an opportunity you simply can’t miss, you can’t squander,” said Doug Pratt, the Public Affairs Director for the Michigan Education Association.
A $3.5 billion surplus in state revenue and federal aid will help bolster schools, Whitmer said.
David Hecker, President of the American Federation of Teachers says the lack of funding is the roto of many issues in schools.
“So between teacher shortage issues, program cuts, curriculum narrowed for our kids all because of the lack of proper funding for schools,” he said.
How will this money help?
$262 million will go towards closing the funding gap between schools.
Money will also go towards hiring more teachers, school psychologists, social workers, and nurses.
The funding also includes more dollars for after-high school transitions, like vocational and trade programs.
There’s also $500 million for school infrastructure.
State Representative Thomas Albert says that getting students back in the classroom should also be a priority.
But education representatives say that continuing the in-person vs virtual debate won’t help students, but that focusing on their individual needs will.