Granholm Signs Budget Increasing Funding for Schools; Targets Dropout Rate, Early Childhood Education

Contact: Leslee Fritz 517-373-7560

August 6, 2008

Budgets for multiple departments including local police and fire also signed

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation to provide funding for Michigan's K-12 schools.  The fiscal year 2009 appropriations bill continues Granholm's commitment to invest in our public schools, expand access to early childhood education, and target the state's dropout problem by investing in smaller, more relevant high schools.  Granholm also signed the fiscal year 2009 general government budget to provide funding for the Departments of Attorney General, Secretary of State, Civil Rights, Information Technology, Management and Budget, and Treasury as well as the Executive Office and Legislature.

"Michigan's economic future is dependent on our ability to provide every child with a quality education, and this budget helps move us toward that goal," said Granholm.  "By investing in early childhood education and high schools that use strong relationships and real-world rigor to help kids succeed, we are investing in Michigan's future."

Highlights of the fiscal year 2009 school aid budget include:

  • $13.4 billion, including $11.8 billion in state funding, for more than 800 districts and public school academies;

  • an increase of $56 to $112 per pupil based on the equity formula created in the current-year budget to continue closing the funding gap between poorer and wealthier school districts;

  • $15 million for the 21st Century Schools Fund to help Michigan school districts replace large, impersonal high schools that have low academic achievement and high dropout rates, with small high schools that use relationships, discipline, and relevance to help at-risk kids achieve;

  • an additional $10 million in funding for the state's Great Start Readiness programs that provide more than 30,000 Michigan children with access to quality pre-school;

  • funding for after-school and summer math programs to help middle school students prepare for the new high school curriculum.

Granholm called the investment in the 21st Century Schools Fund "the next critical step" for public education in Michigan.  Previously, the governor secured funding for six early college high schools which focus on preparing students for jobs in the health care industry.  The schools are created through a partnership between school districts, higher education institutions, and major health care providers.  These early college high schools prepare students for jobs in high-growth areas of our economy.  The governor's education agenda also has included giving every child access to a $4,000 Michigan Promise scholarship to use toward a college degree or technical certification, a new rigorous high school curriculum, and college admissions tests for every high school student.

"As the 21st century economy changes, our education system must change with it," said Granholm.  "Innovations like early college high schools and small high schools can help students succeed by keeping them engaged in learning."

The fiscal year 2009 general government budget provides $3.2 billion of which $668.2 million is general fund.  A large percentage of the general government budget is dedicated to preserving public safety, including $1.1 billion for revenue sharing for local governments.  The budget includes a 2 percent increase in statutory revenue sharing payments.

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