On Wednesday, February 10, Governor Snyder presented to the Legislature his recommendations for the state’s budget. The Michigan House and Senate will now study the governor’s proposal and make their own recommendations. We expect this process to go through the spring. As we continue to study the budget, we will provide more detailed analysis.
AFT Michigan President released the following statement regarding the proposal:[custom_blockquote style=”blue”]
“AFT Michigan has long advocated for increased funding for education at all levels. Additionally, we have been vocal about the state living up to its responsibility to pay the debt accumulated by state-appointed emergency managers operating Detroit Public Schools, without cutting funding from PreK-12, community college, and university funding or essential programs like mental health services and local government revenue sharing.
“Governor Snyder’s proposal includes paying for Detroit’s debt by shifting the Detroit school millage funding to paying of the DPS debt over the next ten years, with the state filling the gap in the DPS budget by using money from the Tobacco Settlement Fund. This would pay the debt accumulated and provide the working capital for the students of Detroit. The bottom line is that the debt is paid by the state and not by the kids of Detroit.
“Under the Governor’s proposal, K-12 school across Michigan will see an increase in funding of $60-120 per student, distributed according to a funding model designed to boost funding in all districts while giving those with the smallest per-pupil funding the biggest increases.
“While the proposed increase to per pupil funding is a good step, we know that the actual cost of educating kids in our state is greater than what would be provided on this plan. We are awaiting the results of the education funding adequacy study, which will be released this spring and outline the true cost of providing a quality education to every child in Michigan.
“The Governor’s budget for 2017 finally brings the total spending on public universities back to 2011 levels, but after adjusting for inflation, universities are still receiving less than they were five years ago. However, a significant portion of community college and university budgets using flawed performance based models that employ one-size-fits-all measures, exacerbates the inequities in the funding of Michigan’s higher education institutions.
“We will continue to evaluate the budget proposal the governor has made, and will work with the Governor and members of the legislature to advocate for an education budget that our students deserve at all levels that invests in public education and promotes equity and access for all students.”[/custom_blockquote]
K-12 School Aid Budget
Governor Snyder is proposing increasing the per-pupil funding for K-12 education by a total of $150 million, which would increase the per-pupil foundation allowance by $60-$120. That would bring the minimum foundation allowance to $7,511 per pupil and the basic foundation allowance to $8,229 per pupil. Intermediate school districts would also see an increase in operations funding of $1.1 million, which brings the total to $68.2 million.
Snyder’s proposed budget includes an additional 4.3 percent, or $61.2 million, in state university operations. Half of the increase will be distributed to Michigan’s 15 public universities in an across-the-board increase. The remaining half of the budget increase will be distributed based on a performance-based funding metric, which includes weighted undergraduate completions in critical skills areas, research expenditures, 6-year graduation rates, total completions, administrative costs as a percentage of core expenditures, and the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants. In order to receive the performance based funding increase, universities need to cap tuition increases at 4.8 percent.
The Governor’s recommendation for community colleges includes an increase of 2.9 percent in total funding over fiscal year 2016. Thirty percent of that increase will be distributed across the board to all of Michigan’s 28 community colleges. Seventy percent of the increase would be distributed to community colleges using a performance-based funding model which includes metrics of: student contact hours that are weighted based upon increased program costs in health and technology; degrees and certificates with an emphasis on natural sciences, engineering, technology, and health; completion improvement; administrative costs as a percentage of core expenditures; and “best practices that enhance local strategic value.”