forgot password?


Senate budget closer to Snyder's proposal, but inclusion of higher education funding with K-12 creates concern

May 09, 2015

This week, the Senate passed a $53 billion omnibus budget which includes SB 134 that provides $15.9 billion in funding for K-12, community colleges, and higher education.  While the bill passed along party lines, opposition to the education budget came from both sides.

At issue is the use of School Aid money for purposes other than K-12 funding. In the Senate's budget version, more than $1.5 billion is set aside for universities and $394 million will go to community colleges. That leaves approximately $14 billion for K-12. Since the 2009-10 budget year, as much as $400 million a year has been diverted from the School Aid Fund to higher education. Attempts this time to change that with amendments failed.

The budget increases per-pupil funding based on a 2X formula which means schools would see per pupil funding increase between $50 and $100, with the lowest-funded districts getting twice as much as higher-funded districts.  

Unlike the House's version, the Senate's budget plan is similar to what Gov. Snyder had recommended. It keeps the 2 percent higher education increase, and provides funding for third grade reading, career and technical education, and at-risk. It also eliminates performance grants and reduces best practice funding. 

The defeat of Proposal 1 and the May 15 Revenue Estimating Conference will have an impact on any further budget talks. The Conference will provide a better picture of revenue to expect, but if lawmakers decide to raid other programs to pay for road repairs, the final education budget may look very different.