Sen. Runestad votes for record K-12 school funding

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad on Thursday voted for a K-12 school aid budget that increases school funding to record levels without raising taxes on Michigan families.

“Today we sent the governor the K-12 budget. As the son of two educators, I’m proud to vote for a budget that invests in our schools, our children and our future,” said Runestad, R-White Lake.

House Bill 4242 would invest $15.3 billion in K-12 education in fiscal year 2020, which begins on Oct. 1. The budget is an increase of more than $420 million over last year and represents an investment of more than $2.2 billion more in overall school funding since FY 2011.

If signed by the governor, Michigan schools would see a foundation allowance boost of between $120 and $240 per pupil, $522 million invested to help at-risk students, a $21.5 million increase in career and technical education funding, and a $60 million increase for special education. The K-12 budget also includes $1.3 billion to help local schools pay for teacher retirement costs.

“I will continue to work hard to make a difference for Oakland County families,” Runestad said. “Giving our local schools the funding they need to succeed remains a top priority for me. This budget, passed with bipartisan support in the House, is another step forward toward that goal.”

The Legislature will send the remaining budget bills to the governor next week.