LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Wednesday approved a $17 billion fiscal year 2022 School Aid Budget, which includes a per pupil increase of between $171 and $589, said Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan Lauwers, who voted for the legislation.
“As our school districts recover from a year lost to COVID-19 and remote learning, we have prioritized getting more money into our classrooms while also dedicating significant resources for parents to help their struggling students get the help they need to get back on track,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “This year we also adopted an equalized funding formula to bridge the gap between the highest and lowest funded school districts, which will benefit many schools throughout the thumb region.”
Under the approved spending plan, schools would enjoy a minimum of $8,700 per pupil in the coming year. Also included is a new $155 million reading scholarship program to support schoolchildren between kindergarten and fifth grade who are considered less than proficient in reading. The program would provide up to $1,000 for eligible students for reading materials, literacy programs, and tutoring services.
Other highlights in the budget include an increase of $168 million for preschools; $240 million for school nurses, social workers, counselors and psychologists; $140 million for the school employees’ retirement system, and $75 million for building upgrades at schools with year-round schedules.
House Bill 4411 now returns to the House of Representatives for concurrence.