#MASSPchat 2/20 - State Budget Proposal: The Dollars and Cents of It All

Chelsey Martinez's picture

The Topic:
An additional $325 million of spending for K-12 schools including a foundation increase, an additional $50/pupil for high schools, and $7 million for continued educator evaluation implementation and training…the Governor's 2017-2018 Executive Budget Recommendation gives many reasons for optimism. But even with the increased investment more School Aid Fund more money than ever would be diverted away from K-12 to shore up the State's general fund and language attaching new strings to At Risk dollars may give districts reason for pause, even though the Governor is proposing a $100 per pupil increase.

This week let's chat about Governor Snyder's proposed 2018-2018 School Aid budget, unpack some of the specifics, and answer any questions you might have. In advance of the chat, you may want to review this recent Weblines article that gives budget highlights.

Meet Our Moderators:
Bob Kefgen (@BobKefgen) brings over fifteen years of experience in state politics to MASSP, with a particular focus on education and human services policy. He began his career in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he worked as a legislative aide and eventually chief of staff. He spent two years as legislative liaison for the Michigan Association of School Administrators. Immediately prior to coming to MASSP, Bob worked at the Michigan Department of Human Services where he was involved with a variety of strategic planning and process re-engineering projects, with a focus on child welfare. He has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University where he studied history and German.

Chelsey Martinez (@MrsChelseyM) began her work with MASSP in January 2011. She previously spent three years as a Communications Analyst/Writer for the Democratic Caucus at the Michigan House of Representatives doing PR and communications for 13 State Representatives and as the second writer for the Speaker of the House. She also garnered extensive election and fundraising experience during her two campaign cycles with the House. A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Chelsey holds a bachelor’s in Social Relations and Policy from James Madison College and a bachelor’s in Journalism with an emphasis on print media/graphic design.

This Week's Questions:

  1. Governor Snyder proposed a $50-$100 per pupil increase using the 2X formula (lower funded districts get a greater increase). Will this increase be enough for your district to meet rising costs?
  2. As proposed, this budget would reduce the gap between minimum and maximum foundation districts to $668/pupil, the smallest it has ever been. How much disparity is there between districts in your region?
  3. The Governor proposed an additional $50/pupil for high school students to recognize the higher cost of educating these students. How would you spend an additional $50/pupil in your building?
  4. While the high school foundation increase is targeted toward older students, districts could spend it at any level. Should these additional dollars be earmarked specifically for high school students, or should districts have flexibility in how they are spent?
  5. The budget recommendation includes a second round of educator evaluation funding totaling $7 million. This money is earmarked specifically to local districts and ISDs, so the full amount should flow to educators. What additional support or training would you want for implementing educator evaluations in your district?
  6. At Risk funding would be increased by over $100 per pupil (to $778/pupil) and over 130,000 more students would be eligible. The funding would now cover students in hold harmless districts, those in households receiving state assistance, migrants, homeless students, and foster children. What percentage of your students are At Risk currently? What will this additional funding and expanded eligibility mean for your building?
  7. The proposed At Risk funding increase unfortunately comes with additional strings including performance metrics and MDE oversight in particular. When does the burden of additional regulation outweigh the benefit of additional funding?
  8. The Governor proposed $20 million in one-time funding for CTE equipment upgrades and capacity building activities. These dollars would be available to both ISDs and local districts. Does your district run a CTE program? What equipment expenses do you face?