Budget surplus quells fears of cuts to school funding in Michigan
By Jake Neher
A state budget surplus is easing some concerns about funding for public schools in Michigan.
Last year, the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan warned recent funding increases for schools and early childhood programs might not be sustainable. It estimated they would create a $240 million hole in the state’s School Aid Budget.
“I don’t believe that should be the case at all,” said Governor Rick Snyder Tuesday. “We did it successfully last year and we should have more revenue opportunity this year.”
And the Citizens Research Council now agrees. It says higher-than-expected revenues over the next couple years will help pay for those increases.
Michigan had the largest funding increase for early childhood programs in the nation last year at $65 million. Governor Snyder says he plans to ask for a similar increase this year.
“It shouldn’t be about just spending money, though,” he said. “It’s about really making sure there’s student growth and there’s real return to our hardworking taxpayers when we talk about revenue and where it goes.”
The governor is expected to talk more about increasing access to preschool programs in his annual State of the State address Thursday.