Runestad supports $17B in K-12 school funding

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Jim Runestad on Wednesday voted to support a K-12 school budget that would increase school funding a record $17 billion

“As the son of two educators, I know the importance of providing our kids with a quality education and helping students who may be struggling,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “We are boosting K-12 funding to more than $17 billion to ensure every Michigan child gets the education they need and provide every school district with the same amount of minimum state per-pupil foundation allowance funding — for the first time in state history.”

House Bill 4411 includes a $683 million boost to bring every Michigan school district’s foundation allowance up to at least $8,700 per student.

The bill invests a total of $17 billion in K-12 education, including $362 million for equalization payments, $7.5 million for career and technical education equipment, $10 million in school safety grants, $240 million to help schools hire mental health professionals to help students dealing with anxiety and depression, and a nearly $169 million increase to improve access to preschool, reduce class sizes and hire highly qualified teachers.

“Many of our students have fallen behind because of the pandemic, when schools were closed to in-person instruction,” Runestad said. “We’re helping them catch up with $155 million in reading scholarships, $1 million to help children diagnosed with dyslexia, and additional resources for schools that adopt a year-round schedule.”

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