Skubick: Michigan schools one step closer to large funding increase

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan schools are a giant step closer to receiving a hefty state aid increase from the legislature.

For over thirty years, state lawmakers and the governor have tried to close the spending gap between rich and disadvantaged school districts.

The Michigan Senate did just that today by approving $8,700 for every schoolchild in the state, but it also added an overall 10%, which does not match what the Michigan House approved last week.

It adopted the $8,700 state aid, but its overall increase was 7.8% which means the House has to either approve the senate plan or change it and sent it back to the senate which adjourned for the day.

The Senate GOP budget chair Senator Jim Stamas applauded the Senate passage today on a 33-1 vote that was engineered in part by Traverse City Republican Wayne Schmidt, who runs the K-12 budget.

“I’m glad to see we’re going to close that gap,” said Schmidt.

Today is the deadline for local school boards to pass their new budgets for next year, and assuming the House buys the Senate plan, it looks like that deadline will be met.

For her part, Governor Gretchen Whitmer favored the original House plan, but she is strongly in favor of closing the gap as she awaits action by the House.

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