Gov. Whitmer Announces Preschool Funding Plan

On Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her funding plan to ensure 22,000 more children can enroll in early education.

The Great Start Readiness Program, the state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children, has not been able to meet demand and currently only 66% of eligible children statewide are served by GSRP or federal Head Start programs.

The plan announced today would increase funding for GSRP to ensure eligible four-year-old’s are served.

GSRP is a proven preschool program that provides full or part-day services to children from families at or below 250% of the poverty line, which is $66,250 for a family of four.

An estimated 65,400 students are eligible for the program.

Gov. Whitmer’s plan proposes an additional $255 million in federal dollars and $150 million in state dollars, for a total of $405 million, for GSRP over the next three years.

The plan also calls for an additional $50 million in federal funds to support a successful expansion , such as:

  • Ensuring an adequate supply of providers based on regional demands through grants to providers (an estimated 1,500 additional classrooms may be needed, at $15,000 per classroom, costs would be $22.5 million)
  • Ensuring additional access to transportation for early education with $15 million in addition to the $10 million currently dedicated to transportation.
  • Providing scholarships to early educators to ensure teaching staff are properly credentialed as well as providing curriculum purchasing and training grants to ensure all programs are using state-recommended, research-based material ($7 million).
  • Expanding outreach efforts to increase parental awareness of the availability of free programs in their area and developing web resources to connect parents to all programs in their area ($5.5 million).