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News That Affects You

School aid budget nearing completion

As the news of Gov. Whitmer signing into law over $4 billion in supplemental school aid
funding hits headlines across the state, I hope the k-12 budget the Legislature sent over last week
is next on her list.


For years, the Legislature approved responsible budgets that paid down debt and put money
away for a rainy day. This responsible budgeting, along with federal emergency funds and a
better-than-expected resurgence of the state’s economy put us in a pretty good position moving
forward.


Budget discussions in the Legislature have taken much of the focus in previous weeks as the new
fiscal year for school districts loomed around the corner. Districts need to know what their
finances are going to look like as soon as possible, and it is our constitutional duty to get them
that money. Though revenues are up, many of the difficulties associated with the coronavirus
still burden the budget process.


Schools have unique needs as it is, but the pandemic has further widened the scope of needs for
schools across the state. Our work over the last few months addresses many of these issues and
the school aid budget we approved funds many efforts that will help bring some level of
normalcy and predictability back to our lives.


While more work remains before the upcoming fiscal year budget is fully completed, last week
we made it past a major hurdle as we work to get the job done.
In a 33-1 vote, the Senate approved the $17 billion 2022 school aid budget that focuses on
meeting modern needs and working to get schools the resources they need to bounce back strong
from the pandemic.


For years, a priority of mine has been leveling the playing field for students. Many communities
in my district fell behind when it came to equitable funding — something I have spent much of
my legislative career trying to correct. The budget we approved last week makes tremendous
progress toward equity in K-12 funding. Under the plan, every school in Michigan will receive at
least $8,700 per student, and every school district will receive the same amount in minimum per-
pupil foundation allowance funding from the state.


I also supported funding that will help districts hire more teachers. Large class sizes have been
an issue for many districts as teacher shortages plagued the state. I’ve spoken to teachers in my
district, and even my family, about this and realize the disadvantage to students, unfairness to
educators and other burdens this problem causes. It is my hope that these funds will assist
districts in hiring more teachers, which will result in smaller class sizes and improved interaction
between educators and students.


The plan we approved also includes resources for early childhood funding and money to help
improve reading efficiency, along with funding to help students recover from learning loss and
mental health issues that grew throughout the pandemic.

 

Students and teachers were among those of us who were hit hardest by the pandemic. Teachers
across the state stepped up as we made the rapid turn to remote learning, and students did their
best to focus on school while the unknowns of COVID-19 weighed on them tremendously. I
believe these funds will help make major headway toward that goal in getting everyone back on
track and into a healthy mindset again

Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

Week of 1/30/23:

Big Rapids:

Tuesday 1/31:

   - Girls Bball v Cadillac - 7:00pm W 55-42

   - Boys BBall @ Cedar Springs - 7:00pm W 38-32

Wednesday 2/1:

   - Boys Wrestling v Central Montcalm - 5:00pm

Friday 2/3:

   - Girls Bball v Morely Stanwood - 6:00pm 

   - Boys Bball v Morely Stanwood - 7:30pm

   - Boys Hockey @ Petosky - 6:00pm

Saturday 2/4:

    - Boys Hockey v Mattawan - 1:30pm

    - Boys Wrestling @ Grant - TBD CSAA Tourney

Reed City: 

Tuesday 1/31:

   - Girls Bball v Manistee - 7:00pm  W 59-44

   - Boys Bball @ Manistee: W 47-42

Wednesday 2/1:

   - Boys Wrestling @ 131 Showdown - 5:30pm

Friday 1/27:

   - Girls BBall @ Howard City - 6:00pm

   - Boys BBall @ Howard City - 7:30pm

 

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