Whitmer proposes eliminating longtime school funding gap

Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Steelcase in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Monday, May 24, 2021. It was the first day Steelcase is having many of their employees back in the office since the coronavirus pandemic started, thanks to the new MIOSHA rules that changed today, allowing non-essential workers to come back to offices. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proposing to use a budget surplus to finally eliminate a funding gap among K-12 districts, 27 years after Michigan overhauled the financing of public education.

Under the Democratic governor’s revised proposal, districts and charter schools would receive $8,692 in base per-student aid from the state. That is $581, or 7%, more for most.

An existing $418 gap between lower- and higher-funded schools would be fully closed.

Whitmer also proposes spending $1 billion to upgrade school infrastructure and to hire more teachers and psychologists, counselors, social workers and nurses who work in schools.

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