Most K-12 school districts in Michigan would see a three percent increase in state funding, under an educational budget bill that was passed yesterday by the House and Senate.
The compromise bill would mean an extra $240 per student in most areas, including the Copper Country.
The measure passed easily in the House, but slid through the Senate with just a four-vote margin, with all Democrats and one Republican voting against it.
Democratic Representative Sara Cambensy of Marquette voted in favor, saying it’s not enough, but it’s better than nothing, and noting it still leaves Michigan in the bottom half of school funding among states. Republican Representative Greg Markkanen of Hancock also voted in favor, as did State Senator Ed McBroom.
That part of the 2019-2020 budget will move on to Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Meanwhile, legislative Republicans are pushing ahead with budgets for other state departments.
The Department of Transportation budget emerged from committee with an additional $400 million for road repair – 20 percent less than party leaders had promised, but still too much for Whitmer, who wants road money to come from new revenue, and not the general fund.
Republicans also made a move to weaken the independent legislative redistricting commission approved by voters last year. They reduced proposed funding by more than a million dollars, and moved it out of the Secretary of State budget, and into the Legislative budget.
Michigan Republicans are pursuing multiple lawsuits that would shut the commission idea down completely.