State House and Senate budget proposals released this week contain important differences in education spending compared to Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan released in February. Now negotiations begin to hammer out a final budget by sometime in June.
Most notably, the House and Senate budgets would fund virtual schools at the same per-pupil level as traditional brick-and-mortar districts. Snyder proposed cutting funding to online schools to 80 percent of the per-pupil amount and using the savings to increase high school funding by $50 per student – a funding boost not included in either the House or Senate budgets.
Both the House and Senate budgets include $2.5 million for private schools to seek reimbursement for certain expenses – a controversial provision included in last year’s budget, now the subject of a lawsuit by several education groups. Snyder did not include private school funding in his budget.
Under the governor’s plan, schools with declining enrollments would receive $7 million, funding not included in either the House or Senate proposals.
Other differences between the three proposed budgets include:
Governor: +$50-100 (for districts with highest to lowest foundation allowance levels)
Senate: +$88-176 (with accompanying loss of funding to help cover MPSERS payments)
Third Grade Reading
Governor: $33 million
House: $25.4 million
Senate: $28.4 million
Governor: $150 million
House: $129.1 million
Senate: $100 million
Governor: +.6 percent
House: -.2 percent
Senate: +1.4 percent
Governor: +2.5 percent
House: +1.9 percent
Senate: +2 percent