Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing a 2 percent increase in funding for public schools, universities and community colleges in Michigan during the next school year.
Snyder presented his budget plan during a joint session of the House and Senate appropriations committees on Thursday.
“It’s clear that Michigan is on the comeback,” Snyder said in a press release. “We are creating more jobs, our unemployment rate has improved, personal income for families is increasing, and our population is growing again. The measures we have taken to fix our tax system and get our budget in long-term balance are paying dividends. I am pleased to recommend a budget that keeps the momentum moving in the right direction.”
According to Crain's Detroit, the governor's budget requires universities to hold tuition increases to under 4 percent or risk losing part of their state aid. In addition, K-12 districts that now get the minimum amount of aid would receive $34 more per student this fall.
Rep. Gretchen Driskell, D-Saline, said she would like to see more education funding than what Snyder has proposed, including redirecting $94.9 million in unspent general fund dollars from 2012 into the state's School Aid Fund to offset cuts to education.
According to Driskell, over the past two years, almost $2 billion has been diverted from school funding.
"The smartest investment we can make to bolster the economy is offering a world-class education," Driskell said. "Making Michigan's schools great will not only give kids the skills they need to succeed, but will also provide an educated workforce that will attract companies to Michigan, ultimately increasing our property values."
2013 Michigan Budget Highlights
- Adding an additional $1.2 billion to adequately maintain and improve Michigan’s roads. This will be accomplished by increasing motor fuel taxes to a flat rate of 33 cents per gallon.
- Allocating $10 million for a new skilled trades training program to encourage more residents to master a skilled trade.
- Allocating $8.6 million to create a new agency within the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs to focus directly on improving services to 700,000 of Michigan's veterans.
- Allocating $15.2 million to train an additional 107 troopers through the Michigan State Police Training Academy.
- Allocating $5.9 million to hire and train 41 new Department of Natural Resources conservation officers to enforce natural resource, recreational safety and environmental protection laws.
If approved by the Legislature, the $50.9 billion budget will go into effect for the 2013 fiscal year, which begins in October.