Senate Boosts Equity in School Funding

Earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12, School Aid and Education passed, on a 3-1 vote, SB 775, which is the $13.7 billion FY ’15 School Aid Budget.

The key feature of the Subcommittee-approved budget is the dramatic increase of $415 million in the foundation allowance, by including at least the following items:

  • $150 million recommended by Governor Snyder in his proposed budget
  • $100 million in “extra” MPSERS funding by lowering district UAL rate below 20.96%
  • $  50 million transfer to the MSPERS Reserve Fund
  • $  80 million in “Best Practices” funding
  • $  46 million in “Performance” funding

It is very meaningful that all of the increased foundation grant funding will be invested via the 2x equity formula, which will boost per-pupil spending by $150-$300 per pupil, resulting in the Minimum Foundation Grant of $7,376 per pupil and a Basic Foundation Grant of $8,199 per pupil. This will reduce the equity funding gap from $973 to $823 per pupil.

You may recall the Governor’s proposed budget and the “Classroom and Kids” proposal from the traditional school lobby used a “modified” 2x formula which did less to close the equity gap.


It is important to note that every one of GLEP’s key recommendations were incorporated in the version of the budget passed this morning by the Senate Subcommittee (see right). We appreciate the hard work of Senators Walker, Caswell and Pappageorge in supporting this “student focused” budget that does so much to prioritize the foundation grant and address the equity funding gap.

GLEP continues to support adoption of a next-generation testing assessment that measures individual student growth. While funding for student assessments was not including in this version of the budget, Chairman Walker indicated their intention to include this funding once MDE has responded to legislative questions on the issue.

SB 775 now goes to the full Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected to take action soon after the upcoming legislative in-district work period (AKA spring recess). Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid is expected to pass their version of the budget bill soon.

Please click here to download the Highlights and Decision Document (including district by district funding estimates) of the Subcommittee-passed budget bill from the Senate Fiscal Agency.

You may recall GLEP is advocating a long-term strategy to earmark 90% of available state and local funding to create a uniform foundation grant of $8,250 per pupil and reduce categorical spending to 10% of school funding.   Click here for a copy of GLEP’s full presentation to the legislature.

As always, let us know if you have any questions!!