LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A big part of Governor Whitmer’s budget proposal was focused on funding public schools. A lot of people had something to say about her recommendations.
Some, like Doug Pratt with the Michigan Education Association, are applauding Gov. Whitmer’s proposal for school funding
“There’s a lot here that is gonna be helpful for the students in this state,” Pratt said.
While others, aren’t. Beth DeShone, the Director of the Great Lakes Education Project, was one of them.
“I was frustrated that the Governor has chosen to slash funding for public schools, public school teachers and public school students that do full-time online learning,” DeShone said.
A few takeaways from the plan are a 2% increase, totaling $14.1 million dollars.
That money is specifically going to, “Making sure that special ed students, at risk students, geographically isolated districts have the resources they need,” Pratt said.
There’s also an increase in how much money a district gets per student. The proposed budget raises the maximum number by $82 and the minimum by $164.
Peter Spadafore is with the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators.
He said, “The idea there is to close the gap between the highest funded and the lowest funded district by giving a larger increase at the lower end and then a smaller increase at the higher end.”
But the proposal didn’t just have increases. There was a decrease in funding for cyber schools. Some agreed with this move.
“They’re not the same costs in person in terms of the PPE, the safety provisions the things that are needed to operate in person,” Pratt said.
But others thought virtual schools are just as important.
“It’s about funding students not systems,” DeShone said.
But in the end, most agreed this budget proposal was a step in the right direction.
“Every dollar in a classroom is a good dollar,” Spadafore said.
This is Gov. Whitmer’s third budget proposed since taking office in 2019, and it relies heavily on stimulus funds from Washington.