LANSING — An updated and expanded version of the School Aid budget passed the House today after House Democrats fought to see key changes made reflecting the priorities of everyday Michiganders, including an increase to special education funding and an increase in flexibility in the use of “at-risk” funds. In response, state Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette), who voted in favor of the budget, issued the following statement:

“Without a serious revenue discussion between the governor and House and Senate leadership this year, our K-12 education budget could be a whole lot better, but it also could be a whole lot worse. An additional $240 per student is a step in the right direction. But even with the increase, Michigan is still in the bottom half of school funding per state in the nation.

“As a consumer, you get what you pay for. The same can be said about our schools. Without the means to invest in 21st-century learning opportunities and technology for future generations of Michiganders, our kids and grandkids will lose. Our long-term economic outlook depends on what the Legislature does today. We cannot keep underfunding our public schools and expect to have a competitive economy in our future.”