LANSING – State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) introduced House Bill 5861 today, which allocates additional funding for year-round school infrastructure and was removed from the 2014-15 budget which starts October 1st. This will continue the program that was begun and funded in the 2013-14 budget.
Despite strong support for the program in the Legislature, funding beyond the 2013-14 school year was scrapped during budget negotiations in June.
“This program, which I proposed and which was called for by Gov. Snyder in his 2014 State of the State, offers at-risk schools the financial support they need to make necessary changes to their infrastructure to move to a year-round school schedule,” Schor said. “The 2013-14 funding allowed this to be implemented in a few schools already, and defunding this program would seriously damage the prospects for at-risk schools throughout the state to offer education options to their students.”
In addition to the $2 million from the general fund in the 2013-14 budget, $1.5 million was included in the 2014-15 budget to fund the schools that applied but were left out in the first year. This money was provided from the Strategic Fund. HB 5861 will appropriate another $2 million from the Strategic Fund to keep the program open another year.
“Education options are tremendously important to ensure that children – especially in at-risk schools – can succeed. The governor has recognized and called for this, and I was happy to work with him on it. Unfortunately, this money was removed at the last minute for 2014-15 and the governor signed the bill without this funding. We need to put it back into the budget, and we can use the Strategic Fund, which was used to fund the remaining schools from the previous school year,” Schor said. “We need to think about Michigan’s students, and this bill will do just that.”