The governor signed the state’s new school aid budget into law last week, so I wanted to take some time to break down what it includes.
Next year, K-12 schools will receive an increase of just $458 per student – a number that could be much higher if the Democrats in the majority hadn’t spent so much on special projects. Instead of prioritizing student excellence in education, their budget spends about $2 billion on pork projects and programs that don’t have anything to do with learning. The funds for these projects could have provided nearly $1,400 more for every Michigan student. This stronger support – a total of $10,968 per pupil – would have gone a long way to helping our students catch up from years of learning loss.
To highlight just a few egregious examples of wasteful spending, the budget includes $1 million to create a “zen zone” for staff in Novi to de-stress, $500,000 for a pool in Eastpointe, $3 million for a new high school auditorium in Lansing.
The plan also commits $125 million for green buses, which is not practical for expansive rural communities like those in Livingston County. Using resources in this fashion removes what could have been an additional $83 per student in per-pupil funding.
It’s frustrating that the politicians in control of the budget process chose to earmark handouts for swimming pools, auditoriums, and driver’s training programs at a few select schools instead of focusing more on what matters most – giving our kids the educational resources they need to succeed.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-3906 or emailing RobertBezotte@house.mi.gov. I am always happy to hear from people in our community.
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