SKUBICK: State lawmakers try to pass $4 billion federal COVID-19 school aid package

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—State lawmakers are trying to pass a $4 billion federal COVID-19 school aid package; however, students across the state of Michigan are allegedly not being treated equally. 

The city of Flint will have $42,000 per student set aside with the help of the grant, and other school districts across Michigan would allegedly have $200 per student set aside. Now, the education lobby at Michigan’s Capitol has urged lawmakers to help create equality to the dollar amounts distributed. 

In December 2020, the Trump Administration sent federal COVID dollars to Michigan. During that time, lawmakers included an increase of $450 per student in Michigan. Recently, lawmakers are now close to finalizing another $4.2 billion from the Biden Administration dedicated to Michigan schools in the form of an equity grant. 

The grant money was taken out by our state for disadvantaged children. For example, Detroit students would only get $26,000 per pupil compared to the amount given to students in Flint. Plus, other school districts in need of help are not getting the same amount.

“There are a handful of districts that aren’t going to get as much as everybody else so that’s not good news for them,” said Jennifer Smith, director of government relations for the Michigan Association of School Boards. 

Senator Jim Stamas the GOP Chair of the Senate budget committee has accused school superintendents of creating a large fuss over the federal aid package amid the equity grant of $1,093 for every student. Stamas says he would save $362 million for other programs in need long-term. 

“You’re going to see a lot of districts, I wouldn’t say counting on it,” Peter Spadaford, Director at Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators said, “but anticipating these resources to be included in the bill. they will no longer be able to count on that.” 

The battle over how much federal aid each child gets continues to remain a subject of intense persuasion by the education lobby.

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