Boyne City Public Schools official says extra state funding is a good start but more must be done to fully fund local schools.
Michigan 105th District State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) said when classrooms resume for the new school year, state funding for K-12 education will be in line to reach its greatest level in Michigan’s history.
On Aug. 28, Cole said the House passed a school budget in the spring that set the base per-student amount at $60.
But, the Northern Michigan House caucus, led by Cole, fought hard to restore a funding formula that provided twice that amount to smaller, rural school districts.
As a result of budget negotiations, the amount of state money going to a majority of local school districts in the communities he serves will be $120 per student.
“Most Northern Michigan schools are receiving what is referred to as ‘2X funding’ in the next fiscal year, as they have for the past several years, to make up for financial inequities that occurred in the past,” Cole said. “The additional funding was not included in the budget passed by the House earlier this year, but we fought for the 2X formula during later budget negotiations and it was restored for smaller, rural school districts.”
In addition, the budget provides a $25 increase for high-school students on top of the per-student funding to help defray the higher costs involved in providing a high-school education.
“We also included additional money to help train students who want to enter the workforce as skilled tradesmen and women,” Cole said. “There are many career and technical jobs open, and we believe increasing training opportunities will help young people find rewarding careers.”
Cole was involved in budget discussions this spring and voted for the funding increases.
Local schools that will see estimated increases in school aid funds:
• Beaver Island Comm. School, $8,273
• Boyne City Public, $275,209
• Boyne Falls School, $42,866
• Cvx Montessori Academy, $13,159
• Charlevoix Public Schools, $121,715
• Concord Academy Boyne, $22,970
• East Jordan Public Schools, $219,931
• Ellsworth Comm. Schools, $78,022
“BCPS welcomes the state’s improving per pupil increase, it is a sign that Michigan is investing in education again,” said Boyne City Public Schools Superintendent Pat Little. “These funds, combined with the efforts of local Boyne tax payers in successful bond issue voting, helps to keep the expectations high for educating our students.”
He added, “The State House and Senate recently paid for a funding adequacy study. In it, they found that the minimally funded districts should be getting approximately $1,100 per student more than the current rate to effectively educate students. In this regard, the increase this year is very welcome but, clearly, the state has long ways to go to meet the minimum recommendations of its own study.”