LANSING, Mich. — Tonight, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) announced a budget agreement that includes reductions in current year funding, but also includes CARES Act funding for schools, universities, community colleges and local governments to address the additional costs created by COVID-19.
Their joint statement reads: “COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our state budget. In this time of crisis, it is our responsibility to come together and build a budget that reflects a bipartisan commitment to the things we value most as Michiganders. This agreement provides crucial funding for Michigan families, schools and communities grappling with costs incurred as a result of the virus.
"Our collective priority is a healthy state and a healthy economy. We are committed to working together to address the remaining shortfalls in next year’s budget and we are looking to our partners in Congress for support to help maintain the essential services relied upon by our families and small businesses.”
Under the agreement, $256 million will be cut from the foundation allowance and $60 million cut from categoricals. The details on which categoricals are still being worked out. The foundation allowance cut will equal approximately $171 per pupil. The state will then allocate $512 million in CARES Act funding for school districts for COVID-19 expenses and expected expenses around returning to school this fall. The Return to School Advisory Council recommendations are set to be announced tomorrow afternoon.
There is also a $500 per person hazard pay allocation for each teacher across the state totaling $53 million that is also paid for with CARES Act funding.
As more details are made available, we will be sure to pass them along. This deal is only for this fiscal year; we are still waiting on a budget agreement for the fiscal that begins on Oct. 1, 2020. As stated, there continues to be a push for federal funds to help offset the continued reductions in our state’s revenues.
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