Gov. Whitmer Signs All Budgets on Last Day of State Fiscal Year

Jennifer Smith

By Jennifer Smith, MASB Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, Oct. 2, 2019

The budget is finally completed! Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed all of the budgets into law on Sept. 30 and included a large amount of line-item vetoes. For the School Aid Budget, she vetoed a total of $128.6 million in various programs; however, the major funding items were included. The per-pupil will be increased by $120-240 through the 2x formula, special education funding was increased by $60 million to cover an additional 2% of costs, and the per-pupil for English Language Learners was greatly increased and expanded.

The following is a summary of the sections we’ve been highlighting for you throughout this budget cycle. It is noted in each section if the Governor vetoed all or a part of the section.

Sec. 6 (mm) – definitions

Removes the ban that began in the 2019-2020 school year on counting out-of-state tuition pupils in the pupil count.

Sec. 20 – per-pupil foundation

Renames the basic foundation to the target foundation and increases it by $120 to $8,529 and the minimum foundation allowance by $240 to $8,111 through the 2x formula. Maintains cyberschool allowance at 100%.

Sec. 22d – isolated districts—VETOED BY GOVERNOR

Increases funding by $1 million to $7 million and changes the criteria for small districts to those with 10 or fewer pupils per square mile. It also creates a tiered funding formula based on density.

Sec. 22n – high school pupils

Does not include this section.

Sec. 22p – partnership districts

Removes requirement that accountability measures include either the closure or reconstitution of the school. It instead is “may include” closure or reconstitution.

Sec. 28 – weighted per-pupil

Uses this section to list the amounts of increases made for certain line items in the budget. Does not include additional funding through a weighted formula.

Sec. 31a – at-risk funding

Increases funding for this section by approximately $7 million and removes the restrictions on spending if at least 50% of at-risk pupils are not proficient in reading by third grade and math by eighth grade or the 11th grade summative assessment.

Sec. 32d – Great Start Readiness Program

Increases funding by $5 million.

Sec. 35a – third grade reading

Increases funding by $14 million for literacy coaches and maintains the requirement that an ISD provide a 50% match. Adds $15 million for a one-time summer school reading grant program for third grade pupils who are not proficient in the English Language Arts portion of the 2019 M-STEP (VETOED BY GOVERNOR).

Sec. 39 – early childhood funding

Maintains current funding levels per student in GSRP/Head Start Programs.

Sec. 41 – English Language Learners

Increases funding by $7 million; $3 million for capital improvements in support of English language learners (VETOED BY GOVERNOR) and $4 million to increase the per-pupil funding based on WIDA ACCESS scores. The allotment for scores of 1 to 1.9 is increased by $280 to $900, for scores of 2 to 2.9 it is increased by $210 to $620 and a new appropriation of $100 for students with scores of 3 to 3.9.

Sec. 51f – special education funding

This new section includes $60.2 million to reimburse local districts and ISDs for approximately 2% of their total special education costs.

Secs. 61c, 61d, 61f – career and technical education sections

Increases appropriation for CTE equipment upgrades for 2019-2020 to $16 million (61c—VETOED BY GOVERNOR); retains the per-pupil incentive payment and increases it to $50 (61d—VETOED BY GOVERNOR, kept at $25); and includes $200,000 for Pipeline to Promise (61f—VETOED BY GOVERNOR).

Sec. 81 – ISD funding

Increases funding to ISDs by $685,000 for a 1% increase over last year.

Sec. 99h – robotics grants

Increases funding by $200,000 and maintains eligibility for nonpublic schools. VETOED BY GOVERNOR—a total of $300,000 for nonpublic school grants.

Sec. 101 (10) – professional development under days and hours

Allows for up to 38 hours of qualified professional development to be counted as hours of pupil instruction. If five hours are done in a single day, it can count as a day of pupil instruction. At least eight hours must be approved through a district advisory committee outlined in the section. Up to 10 hours may be completed between the end of one school year and the start of the next.

Sec. 152b – nonpublic school grants for mandates—VETOED BY GOVERNOR

Maintains the $250,000 appropriation.

Sec. 160 – pre-Labor Day waivers

Removes the requirement that the Michigan Department of Education participate in a local public hearing before a district applies for a waiver. It allows MDE to participate at its discretion.

Sec. 164h – requiring certain items in a collective bargaining agreement regarding merit pay

Maintains current law.

Sec 166 – disciplinary policies for abortion referrals

Requires a district to adopt a policy, however, the policy no longer has to include a financial penalty of 3% of an employee’s salary and may exempt a parent or guardian of the pupil. The state would no longer dictate what has to be included in the policy.

Other vetoes of note:

  • Sec. 20 (15) j – increase in per-pupil funding for charter schools. The per-pupil will remain the same as this year.
  • Sec. 25f – strict discipline academies additional per-pupil allotment
  • Sec. 25g – dropout recovery program additional funds
  • Sec. 31j – locally grown produce in schools
  • Sec. 97 – panic button application/secure schools
  • Secs 99t, 99u, 99v, 99w, 99x, 99z, 99bb – all specific vendor line items
  • Sec. 102d – financial data analysis tools

The entire list of School Aid budget veto items begins on page 7 of the full state budget list.

Finally, thank you to those who could join us for the Views From the Capitol webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Unfortunately, due to a glitch in the software program, we will not be able to post the video. We apologize for this inconvenience, but if you have any questions about the budget or other issues, please feel free to contact us.

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