Northern Michigan Superintendents Discuss Education Funding Proposal by Gov. Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is preparing to ask lawmakers for a massive increase in education funding across the state.

Monday we learned the governor’s budget will include a $507 million increase in education funding.

That includes up to an extra $180 per student for school districts.

The governor is also expected to call for more funding for special education, at risk students and vocational training.

The governor’s office says it’s the largest boost in nearly two decades.

Governor Gretchen whiter is set to propose a massive boost in funding for schools across the state and it’s welcome news for small rural districts like Morely Stanwood.

“I think what’s equally significant so the idea that someone is sitting down and saying some students cost more to educate than others. I actually think there’s value in a philosophical change than necessarily the economic increase” said Superintendent Roger Cole.

Superintendent Roger Cole says the proposed extra $120 to $180 per student would help offset money lost if student count drops next year or allow the district to look at more opportunities for students.

“It allows me to have a smaller kindergarten or first grade class if I hire another teacher, it allows me to explore something at the high school level by increasing class opportunity for high school students,” said Cole.

The announcement by the governor comes as schools across the state face rising costs and more requirements. Buckley superintendent Jessica Harrand says that’s where the school would first look to spend the extra money.

“The first focus would go to K-3 reading law and ensuring that students get what they need and the intervention they need to meet that requirement, it would go towards those kinds of things first and then the hope would be to add addition programs,” said Harrand.

The governor will formally announce her budget Tuesday in Lansing.