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Gov. Whitmer to present budget to lawmakers Wednesday, focus on education funding

Posted at 10:49 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 22:49:51-05

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will present her budget proposal to lawmakers on Wednesday and is expected to focus spending on addressing the educator shortage in Michigan.

“Gov. Whitmer's bold proposal is the most transformational investment we've seen in public education in over 20 years," said Thomas Morgan, a communications consultant with the Michigan Education Association. "Her budget addresses Michigan's educators shortage. It also addresses mental health and learning needs for students. We need to solve the educator shortage and we need to do it quickly.”

Whitmer is expected to propose spending $2.3 billion over four years to recruit and retain school staff, even offering $2,000 bonuses each year. Those bonuses would grow to $4,000 by 2025.

“The governor's budget also includes funding for mental health services for students, which is desperately needed in our schools," he said. "The governor's budget will move Michigan toward our goal of being a global leader in education. We once were, and we can be again.”

She is expected to propose $1.5 billion for teacher retention for about 330,000 eligible school workers. Whitmer is also expected to request $600 million for educator recruitment, which would pay for things like college scholarships for future teachers, stipends for student teachers, training and nearly $200 million for mentoring new educators and addressing local retention issues.

Morgan says the largest issue the MEA wants to see tackled is the educator shortage so that students across the state can get back on track. Whitmer's budget outline has been warmly welcomed by the MEA.

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