The Governor’s Proposed Budget Misses the Mark in Supporting ALL Kids

Alicia Urbain
Mar 3, 2023 11:47:17 AM

We know students have been hit hard by learning loss from COVID-19. On February 8th. Governor Gretchen Whitmer released her proposed fiscal year 2024 budget. She prioritized investments in public education to support personalized learning to help get “MI Kids Back on Track.” 

However, given Whitmer’s commitment to all students, we believe she missed some opportunities to clearly lay out her budget recommendations for Michigan’s public schools ensuring that ALL children attending and teachers teaching at public schools are treated equitably.

Here are some highlights from the Governor’s proposed budget:

  • A 5% increase in the per-pupil foundation allowance (taking the foundational allowance to a total of $9,608 per-pupil). There is additional weighted funding for special education, English language learners, and economically disadvantaged students.
  • The Governor is proposing to cut 20% to JUST online charter schools (taking the amount down to $7,687 per-pupil). There are 22,000 students in MI that attend an online public charter school program and another 4 times as many students in similar traditional public school district online programs across the state. While these students may be accessing similar programs and are often attended by the most vulnerable among our children including at-risk and LGBTQIA+ students, the Governor’s proposed budget would treat them differently with a cut that will impact only those students attending a public charter school program online program. This is a direct attack on ALL public charter schools.
  • $500 million for facilities funding and consolidation/efficiency efforts, however, public charter schools would not be allowed to use any of these funds that would directly impact the overall health and safety for ALL public school students.
  • $742.4 million in additional supports for students for literacy and math programs to help get students back on track.
  • Universal school breakfast and lunch for all students.
  • An expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program. 

As you know, the Governor’s budget proposal represents the beginning of the budget process and we expect the Governor and members of the State Legislature will live up to the spirit and commitment of the “MI Kids Back on Track” by supporting ALL public school students equitably regardless of the type of public school their families chose for them. 

We need your help. Lawmakers need to be reminded that charter school students are public school students and their families are constituents, voters and taxpayers. We need to send a clear message that all public school students deserve access to a great school, a safe and welcoming school building, access to mental health supports, and personalized academic support like tutoring. And when we say “all” we truly mean “ALL public school students” who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All kids in Michigan deserve access to all the resources the Governor outlined in her “MI Kids Back on Track” program.

ACTION: Share this link ( to our activation page in your school newsletter and on your social media pages to encourage parents and teachers to send a quick message to their lawmakers. 


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