GLEP Praises Equity Boost in FY ’15 School Aid Budget

Legislature increases minimum foundation grant by $175 per pupil; keeps promises on teacher retirement; and earmarks at-risk funds to improve 3rd Grade Reading

Lansing, MI – The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) today praised the work of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees in adopting a conference committee report this morning to finalize SB 775, the $13.9 billion FY ’15 School Aid Budget. The budget is 4.1% higher than FY ’14.

“We are very pleased the legislature is striking such strong blow for equity and Michigan’s students will certainly benefit from this dramatic funding increase,” said Gary Naeyaert, GLEP Executive Director.  “We specifically applaud the leadership of Senator Howard Walker, (R-Traverse City) and members of the conference committee for adopting so many of GLEP’s key recommendations in the final budget,” Naeyaert continued.

Under this final version of the school aid budget, the state’s minimum foundation grant will increase by $175 per pupil (from $7,076 to $7,251), and the basic foundation grant will increase by $50 per pupil (from $8,049 to $8,099). Eliminating the per pupil funding equity gap, which will be reduced from $973 to $848 per pupil next year, remains GLEP’s highest school aid budget priority.

Other key features of the final budget include the following:

  • Earmarking $309 million in Section 31a “at risk” funds to improve early literacy, specifically 3rd grade reading proficiency, and college-career readiness. GLEP strongly supports this language.
  • Maintains the statutory rate cap of 20.96% for districts to cover the Unfunded Accrued Liability of MPSERS, resulting in nearly $500 per pupil coming “off the top” of the School Aid Fund to support teacher retirement system. GLEP supported maintaining this rate cap.
  • MDE will be required to bid out a next-generation testing assessment to measure proficiency and individual student growth for the 2015-16 school year. GLEP supported this language.
  • School districts will be required to provide at least 180 days of instruction in FY 2017. GLEP supports extending the school year to improve academic performance.

Please click here to download the Highlights and Decision Document (including district by district funding estimates) of the final FY ’15 School Aid Budget from the Senate and House Fiscal Agencies.

Download this release in PDF format: Release.FY15_School_Aid_Budget.June2014

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The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) is a non-profit advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education for all Michigan children. For more information, please visit www.glep.org