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Key Senate Committee Proposes School Spending 27% Above 2016

Not enough, says state superintendent, even as statewide enrollment declined

The Michigan Senate's K-12 appropriations subcommittee recommended a school budget on Thursday that would authorize spending a total $17.84 billion for public schools in the 2022-23 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

This is $3.79 billion higher than the $14.10 billion spent under the 2016-17 school budget. The recommendation represents a 27% rise in spending over that six-year period, despite a 6% decline in statewide student enrollment from 2016-17 to 2021-22.

That did not not stop the Michigan Department of Education from criticizing the recommendation for not spending more.`

“This is not a budget that appropriately serves children,” State Superintendent Michael Rice said in a press release, “and it’s not acceptable to justify this budget by saying that it is the beginning of a longer budget process. The beginning of a process should not underfund special education, children’s mental health, or early childhood funding. The beginning of a budget process should not underfund teacher recruitment and retention in the midst of a teacher shortage. That’s not the way the beginning of negotiations should be, especially coming out of a pandemic and with the financial wherewithal we have in this state at this time.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.