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Governor Whitmer releases budget proposal

Posted at 8:12 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 20:12:05-05

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer's newly unveiled 2020 budget proposal is putting a lot more money into education.

She's proposed seven major changes putting millions of dollars back into the pockets of teachers, school buildings and learning funds.

The governor is proposing to raise the amount of per-pupil funding schools get by at least $150.

She is also asking for another $60 million for both special education and for at-risk and low-income students and she wants to give teachers $250 each to offset the amount they spend on classroom supplies, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

"It's an outstanding budget across the board, more to the point. It not only improves adequacy but the equity of funding in the state. It improves the distribution and set of resources," said Dr. Michael Rise, state of Michigan Superintendent.

Rise said in terms of special education funds, they typically get lumped in with the general education fund, which results in not having enough money for special education programs.

"What ends up happening is that special education ends up being funded, in a fashion, by general education dollars," Rice said.

The budget proposal also calls for an extra $42 million to put more kids in preschool. She also wants $5 million to be allocated to students who are still learning English.

Republicans aren't happy the governor isn't putting as much emphasis on local road funding in her budget proposal.

Last week she announced the state would sell $3.5 billion in bonds to pay for state road improvements.

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