Help us prioritize equity in the FY22 School Aid Budget

Alicia Urbain
Feb 23, 2021 2:51:02 PM

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proposed the State’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget to the legislature, including funding for our schools and students. This is the first step in the lengthy Budget process, and we will continue to monitor developments as they come in. For now, we want to point out some important highlights.

  • The Foundation Allowance would increase $164 for all charter schools (using the 2x formula). The equity gap between the state minimum and state maximum would reduce to $336 (from $418). We believe that the goal should always be to close the equity gap, and welcome this increase as a step in the right direction even though it doesn't close the gap fully.
  • The student count blend is 10% of Spring 2021 and 90% of Fall 2021.
  • Proposes a 2% increase in At-Risk funding under 31a for weighted funding for special education, English Language Learners, economically distressed, and rural & isolated schools.
  • Increases the per-pupil allocation for the Great Start Readiness Program to equal the state minimum foundation allowance ($8,275)
  • $200 million for declining enrollment. This would give many schools funding based on students they had enrolled in the fall 2019 count. This is a line item we will watch closely, as we generally support funding schools based on students who are currently enrolled.
  • There are several line items that include one-time money for summer school programs, wrap-around services, etc. in this budget, but even more in a supplemental budget proposal for the current year. This amount is $250 million in academic supports and $60 million in out-of-school learning opportunities including day camps, after-school programs, etc.
While the FY22 Budget looks pretty good, we are disheartened to see that Gov. Whitmer has proposed a 20% cut for all charter school students who are enrolled in a full-time, online program. The cut would NOT apply to MI students who are enrolled in a full-time, online program through a traditional school district. Once again, charter students are being targeted with a funding cut simply because they attend a charter school. 
While this cut does not apply to all of our students, it again demonstrates that some K-12 education decision makers are willing to put charter kids on the chopping block. Back in 2019, we faced a $35M line item veto issued by Gov. Whitmer, which would have cut a portion of funding for ALL charter school students. Just last fall, a report commissioned by the MI Civil Rights Commission suggested that to stabilize traditional public school districts, we should take 25% of funding from ALL charter students. MI State Board of Education VP, Dr. Pamela Pugh, later said that she supported that recommendation. 

It's high time that our state lawmakers start treating our charter students with equity, and stop targeting them with harmful funding cuts. Every Michigan learner had to experience some form of remote learning this year, and we learned just how difficult it is to deliver meaningful instruction at a distance. Now, the Governor's budget aims to punish those students who learn remotely full time - and it's not ok. 

Right now, we ask that you complete this activation and encourage your lawmakers to fund ALL students equitably in this budget cycle. It's up to us to ensure our students don't end up on the chopping block. After YOU do the activation, please share with others in your school and/or local community.


Act now! 

Tell your lawmakers that ALL Michigan students deserve equitable resources for their education. 

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