Michigan Legislature nears approval of K-12 funding spike to boost funding by 10%

Michigan lawmakers on Wednesday neared final approval of a $17.1 billion K-12 budget, one that would eliminate a longstanding base per-student funding gap among districts and boost overall funding by a substantial 10%.

The bill was advanced by the Senate on a nearly unanimous vote after changes were made. The Senate also unanimously passed a $1.7 billion spending bill that would fund revenue-sharing payments to municipalities for the 2021-22 fiscal year and immediately use federal COVID-19 relief aid to help hospitals and nursing homes facing pandemic-related financial struggles.

RELATED: Michigan House approves record funding for schools in newest budget

The House could soon send the legislation to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her expected signature, providing certainty to districts whose budget years begin Thursday. Budgets for state departments will wait, potentially until September.

K-12 districts and charter schools would receive $8,700 in base per-student state aid, not including at least $1,093 more per pupil in federal funding in a separate bill — which won legislative approval last week — from a rescue package signed by President Joe Biden in March. The state grant would rise by $589, or 7%, for the vast majority of traditional districts and charter schools. Districts at the higher end would get an additional $171, a 2% increase.