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. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), who voted for the budget, issued the following statement:

“This budget in no way reflects the ‘record funding levels’ claimed by Republicans, but my duty is first and foremost to the people of my community and schools in my district — schools that desperately need any funding they can get — which is why I ultimately voted ‘yes’ today. We have underfunded our schools for years, shortchanging our students and teachers, while forcing school administrators to make deep cuts just to balance their budget. The funding increase in this budget comes nowhere near making up for the decade of cuts that have devastated public schools since the Great Recession, but it’s a step in the right direction.”