LANSING — State Representative Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) expressed his disappointment at House Bill 5314, the education budget that funds K-12 schools, community colleges and universities. The bill passed the House 60-50, and LaVoy voted no because the budget unequally funds different schools.
“In my district, we are funding some charter schools at a higher level than traditional schools. Charters don’t have to enroll kids with special needs and don’t incur the same costs as other schools, such as transportation,” LaVoy said. “Earlier versions of the budget gave schools a higher increase, but we were never given a chance to vote on the lower number until this week.”
Under HB 5314, all school districts across the state get a base $50 per-pupil increase, though for some schools, that’s the only increase they received. For others, including charter and cyber schools, the increase was as much as $175 per pupil.
“The state shouldn’t be giving more money to schools with different, arguably relaxed, standards nor rewarding them for picking and choosing winners when it comes to our kids,” LaVoy said. “We should be funding school districts simply and equally; instead, we have a complex system of formulas, restrictions and exceptions. This system is wrong for Michigan and makes it harder to educate our children.”