The state School Aid budget was recently signed by Governor Snyder and totals $14,765,468,800 for this upcoming fiscal year. Schools will see per-pupil increases between $120 and $240 depending on the district. This raises the minimum per-pupil grant to $7,871 and the basic level to $8,409.
Highlights of the budget include:
- Over $1 billion for the school employee retirement system (MPSERS)
- $499 million in at-risk funding
- $5 million in new money to provide $25 per pupil for pupils in grades nine to 12 enrolled in CTE programs and an additional $25 per pupil for those in CTE programs identified as “critical skills” programs
- Continues early literacy by funding teacher coaches at $7 million, $19.9 million for added instructional time – a reduction of $1 million from last year and $2.5 million for Michigan Education Corps
The budget reduces education assessments by $2.2 million to a total of $38,759,401. It also reduces funding for the online student data-reporting tool from $3.2 million to $500,000 to move from development to maintenance. The budget funds the Michigan kindergarten entry observation tool pilot at $1.5 million, a $500,000 increase.
It also moves state assessment for science from grades four and seven to five and eight. It deletes that the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) approve at least three benchmark assessments for district use. It also requires summative assessments for English language arts and math for pupils in grades eight to 10 to be aligned to the college entrance test portion of the Michigan Merit examination.
The budget increases funding by $5.2 million to a total of $9.2 million to expand funding for computer-adaptive tests, diagnostic tools, screening tools or benchmark assessments.
It also adds the following reporting requirements:
- Requires that by December 1, 2018 a district receiving funds report to MDE, which tests, tools and assessments were purchased
- Requires that MDE compile that data and report to the legislature by February 1, 2019
- Includes that districts seeking reimbursement for a benchmark assessment shall commit to using the same benchmark assessment for no less than three years without switching to another benchmark assessment
The budget also includes requirements for partnership districts to meet to receive the discretionary portion of their foundation allowance (i.e. the growth since Proposal A).