This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

The House K-12 budget subcommittee met on Tuesday morning to hear joint testimony from MDE and the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED) on career and technical education in Michigan and the recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance (MCPA). The recommendations (which are just that in many cases, though a few are tied to specific bills) cover a broad array of ideas from increasing access to career and college counseling for students to supporting schools in recruiting and retaining CTE instructors to (yet more) MMC changes. The Senate Education committee reported out a package of legislation that still has a long way to go before it could law, but—if passed—would create a new Enhanced Michigan Education Savings Program…similar to the state’s current MESP program that families can use to save for college, but one that could be used pay for "non-core" education expenses at the K-12 level (e.g. pay-to-play fees, tutoring costs, etc.). Among the many concerns raised by education groups are the cost of creating the program (estimated at $60-100 million) that could otherwise go to support K-12 education and the potential for lost tax revenue that could eventually lead to reduced appropriations to schools (estimated at $14-$66 million annually). The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday to report a supplemental, making some final adjustments to the upcoming 2017-18 School Aid Fund budget before the state fiscal year starts on October 1…though the bottom line for most districts is that the changes will have little to no impact.