Last week, a potential deal fell apart to end the standoff over supplemental appropriations to fill gaps in the state budget. Now, with the Legislature’s fall hunting and Thanksgiving break upon us, a solution will likely wait until lawmakers return to Lansing in December.
MEA members need to contact all our lawmakers and urge them to reach agreement on supplemental budget bills that fund priorities that were cut last month because of the lack of a comprehensive solution to the budget.
In particular, these areas need to be funded to provide students with the educational opportunities they deserve:
- $7 million for isolated school districts (HB 5093/SB 575).
- $350,000 on a pilot program to train 60 providers on autism treatment (HB 5082/SB 552).
- $10.5 million for the state to cover the full cost of tripling the number of literacy coaches, rather than splitting the costs with ISDs (SB 577).
- $110 million to fund the first two years of Michigan Reconnect program (SB 577).
- Plus additional funding for at-risk education programs, providing additional resources for some of our students who need it most.
These areas – plus many more – would have received funding through Gov. Whitmer’s budget proposal this spring. However, real negotiations with GOP legislative leaders didn’t happen over the summer months leading to the governor using line-item vetoes to bring everyone back to the table. Members need to contact everyone involved and stress that those discussions need to be had and resolved quickly.