Schools need investments while our taxpayer dollars gather dust in D.C.
LANSING, Mich., June 4, 2021 — With another week having gone by in which legislative Republicans refused to appropriate all available federal funding with a supplemental budget bill, House Democrats are renewing their calls to bring home all the COVID-19 relief that Michiganders are entitled to. With school districts wrapping up this school year and beginning to look toward the next, their financial futures are uncertain.
“After months of inaction and multiple deadlines missed, our students and educators can’t wait any longer. We need to make sure schools are prepared to return to full-time, in-person learning this fall, and our Michigan taxpayer money trapped in Washington could help them do it,” House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) said. “We need to be ready to give kids the supports they need to recover from this tumultuous year. All of this could be accomplished with federal education funding if only the Republican majority would appropriate it.”
A recent update to a 2018 study on the cost to educate Michigan students found that the base level of funding to have students achieve state standards has risen to $10,421 per pupil. The budget that the Republican majority approved last month includes a minimum foundation allowance of $8,211 per pupil.
“This study shows what teachers like me have known for years: Michigan is not doing enough to support our kids’ education. This makes the need for federal support even more apparent,” said state Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park), Democratic vice chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Department of Education. “It’s beyond irresponsible that Republicans are letting money that would close the gap sit on the table — it’s unconscionable. Our students, teachers and schools deserve better. They deserve this funding now.”