The budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 continues to move through both the House and Senate as the Legislature progresses toward a summer recess.
The House passed an omnibus appropriations bill and an education funding bill totaling $55.72 billion in proposed spending on Tuesday, 4/24/18, while the Senate passed similar bills totaling $56.6 billion on Thursday, 5/3/18.
The House-passed budgets include:
- $36.9 million for the Going Pro program (previously called the Skilled Trades Training Program), which provides competitive grants to employers to support the training of employees. This is $4 million less than the Governor’s budget recommendation of $40.9, which is also the amount provided for Going Pro in the Senate budget.
- $4.6 million for debt service on the Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program, a $50 million grant program established in 2015 to provide funding to help Michigan community colleges purchase equipment to boost skilled trades instruction.
Thanks to MMA’s advocacy efforts, both budgets avoided the inclusion of Administration’s proposed tipping fee hike on solid waste which would drive costs from the current $0.36/ton to approximately $4.75/ton in order to pay for curbside residential recycling and orphan share cleanup.
While the Senate plans to address the issue separately in the coming weeks, the House incorporated their version of the Governor’s Marshall Plan for Talent into the School Aid budget, including:
- $41.6 million for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs; a $5 million increase from the Governor’s recommendation
- $3 million for Competency-Based Education Pilots: competitive grants to school districts for the design and implementation of competency-based education programs
- $25 million for competitive grants for equipment for CTE programs in emerging and high-demand fields (more than double the Governor’s recommendation of $11.6 million)
- $14 million for career education planning district grants, $10 million for CTE equipment and innovation competitive grants and $1 million for mechatronics grants, doubling the current year funding levels and ignoring the Governor’s proposal to replace these programs with the Marshall plan
- $1.5 million for MI Bright Future, an online career preparation tool for students. The Governor’s proposal included $4 million for this contract.
- $21.9 million for competitive grants, to be paid over 3 years, to expand K-12 education programs focused on creating competencies in high-demand fields
- $6.1 million for the development of curriculum, materials, professional development, instructional practices and student projects in high-demand fields
- $10.7 million for scholarships and stipends to assist low-income individuals with the cost of obtaining a qualifying degree or credential in a high-demand field. This is less than half of the Governor’s recommended $25.5 million.
- $4.8 million for the Innovative Educator Corps, which provides stipends to educators to replicate, expand and disseminate specialized skills and innovative programs across the state
- $620,000 for competitive grants to schools to participate in cybersecurity events
The House, however, eliminated several of the Governor’s Marshall Plan proposals, including:
- $5 million to provide additional per-pupil allowances for students enrolled in CTE programs
- $10 million in competitive grants to districts and ISDs to hire counselors focused on career navigation
- $5.5 million for talent recruitment, development and retention marketing
- $4 million in competitive grants to universities that are members of the Michigan University Research Corridor
- $1.5 million to address a critical shortage of K-12 instructors in high-demand fields
Differences between the two chambers’ budget bills will be discussed in Conference Committee later this spring. While the budget must be completed by the 10/1/18 fiscal year start, legislators are aiming to complete their work by mid-June.
This article first appeared in the 5/8/18 issue of MFG Voice.