State approves school aid budget closing equity gap

Alicia Urbain
Sep 19, 2019 2:30:30 PM

At MAPSA we believe that education funding must drive student achievement, and should be awarded equitably amongst every learner to support their success. And we continue to fight for this in Lansing every day.

The school aid budget went back to Conference Committee the morning of September 19, however, the House and Senate just voted to pass the School Aid budget amid some continued drama over road funding. While this does not mean the School Aid budget is done, this is likely to be the final School Aid budget barring the Governor’s veto.

$240/PUPIL INCREASE FOR CHARTERS

The Foundation Allowance for all charter schools will increase by $240/pupil to $8,111 using the 2x formula. Higher funded schools would only see an increase of $120/pupil creating the lowest equity gap yet between highest and lowest funded schools at $418. The Cyber School Foundation Allowance would remain the same as all other charter schools and not see the 20% reduction the Governor originally proposed. Also, just this morning, a few changes were adopted to the School Aid budget, including $30 million more in special education reimbursement and loosening of the 31a At-Risk redirect requirements. The Fiscal Impact Report provides an updated foundation allowance by district and county.

CATEGORICAL FUNDING COULD BE AT RISK

The Governor can still veto the school aid budget in its entirety (not likely from my perspective), or she can use her line item veto power and specifically veto certain spending provisions. It is more likely she will veto some categorical spending. Also, if you receive funding for vendor programs, such as Algebra Nation, that the state reimburses, the Governor will most likely veto these line items in the budget moving forward.

If the state budget is not signed by the Governor by October 1, a government shutdown will occur. However, public schools do not shut down. All regular activities should continue, including count day in October. If the government shutdown lasts until October 20, the first state-aid payment, payments could be delayed, however, we are hopeful the shutdown would not go that long. Make sure to communicate to parents that your school will be open and it will be business as usual to avoid any miscommunication or unnecessary absences. There also could be disruption of federal funding as well as there will be no one to process payments at the state level.

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