Michigan prioritizes funding for education as economic recovery continues

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed an education bill into law on Tuesday that will increase funding for education in the state by $1.1 billion over 2011 funding levels.

The School Omnibus Bill provides funding for early education programs, K-12 education, and community colleges and state universities. This is the fourth consecutive year that Snyder has signed the education appropriations bill in June to provide schools with adequate time for budget planning.

“This is the right budget to move Michigan forward and continue our comeback,” Snyder said.

The bill will increase funding for early education programs by $65 million to further Snyder’s “no wait” policy for families in the state.

“The administration and the legislature have worked together to develop a budget that funds education and Michigan’s other key priorities while maintaining the core principles of fiscal responsibility,” Snyder said.

Also included in the bill is $11.8 billion in state funding for K-12 education. The allocation includes $177 million in additional funding to increase the per-student funding rate from $50 to $175 and establishes a per-student minimum allowance of $7,251.

Community colleges will see a three percent increase in funding, and universities will see an approximate six percent increase in funding under the bill. In turn, colleges will be required to limit tuition increases to 3.2 percent or less.

“For the fourth year in a row, we have delivered a budget with the priorities citizens have asked of us – balanced, finished early and with increased spending on education,” Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-63rd) said. “Our economic recovery is continuing, and because of the right investments, each day is brighter for Michigan families.”