Governor Whitmer and the Legislature have reportedly struck a deal on a budget supplemental that would restore funding to several items that were line-item vetoed by the Governor earlier this year as part of the ongoing budget battle. While not all of the components of the deal are being made public yet, the Senate took action this evening to pass a K-12 budget supplemental that includes restoring approximately $70 million in vetoed K-12 spending as well as making a few boilerplate changes.
Specifically, the bill would restore the following K-12 items:
- $35 million for the foundation allowance increase for public school academies
- $10 million for school safety grants
- $7 million for isolated or rural districts
- $5 million for a summer reading program for 3rd graders not proficient in reading
- $1.6 million for added costs at strict discipline academies
- $750,000 for added costs of dropout recovery programs
- $350,000 for an autism intervention pilot project
- $300,000 for a multi-sensory education program
In addition to restoration of vetoes listed above, for K-12, the bill would increase funding for early literacy coaches by $10.5 million, from $21 million to $31.5 million, increase grant funding from $75,000 to $112,500 per coach, and remove the requirement that intermediate school districts provide a 50 percent match in support of the coaches.
Finally, the bill tweaks three sections of boilerplate, with the most significant change coming to the At Risk line item where language was added to restore funding for some districts that lost revenue unexpectedly due to a change in the At Risk formula late in the budget process.
In addition to the K-12 budget changes, the deal also includes restoration of vetoed items across the budget as well as some-yet-to-be defined changes in state Administrative Board powers and a new July 1 budget deadline for lawmakers.
Some of the legislation needed to finalize the agreement is still being drafted and will still need to pass muster with all parties. However, this is the most hopeful sign we have seen so far that the long-standing budget debate may be coming to a close. Assuming the deal holds together, it will likely take the rest of the Legislature’s December session days to finalize everything. But, barring unforeseen difficulties, the future seems to hold an end to the budget debate before Christmas break.
MASSP will continue to update members as this issue develops.
Written by Bob Kefgen, MASSP Director of Government Relations