This week the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate agreed on a School Aid budget for the October 2021-September 2022 Fiscal Year. House Bill 4411 contains $17.1 billion in spending, a ten percent increase over the current Fiscal Year. Public schools will be offered a minimum $8,700 per-pupil foundational allowance, with a $168.5 million increase going toward preschool spending, a total of $155 million devoted to individual reading scholarships and ultimately $240 million assigned to school psychologists, nurses, social workers, and counselors. Of special interest to Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) are the following:
$600,000 for robotics grants for nonpublic schools, to assist those schools with costs related to competition fees and stipends for coaches.
$2.5 million in school safety grants for nonpublic schools.
$1 million to help reimburse nonpublic schools for expenses related to meeting State health, safety, and welfare mandates.
As other local units of government, such as counties, cities and townships rely on state funding to create their annual budgets, the Senate passed funding for revenue sharing. Many local units of government begin their fiscal year on October 1. The major priority, however, was to get the education spending bill to the governor, as the fiscal year for most public school districts begins July 1. Work will continue on the rest of the FY 2022 budget during the next two weeks, namely setting appropriations for all the state departments, with the Senate scheduled to meet again July 15, and the House on July 21.
During this legislative break, MCC will publish Lansing Updates if there are developments on state or federal issues.
MCC wishes you a safe and peaceful Independence Day weekend. As you enjoy a day at the beach, parades, fireworks, and time with friends and family; remember to reflect upon our freedom and to seek God's wisdom as we pray:
"Father of all nations and ages, we recall the day when our country claimed its place among the family of nations; for what has been achieved we give you thanks, for the work that still remains we ask your help, and as you have called us from many peoples to be one nation, grant that, under your providence, our country may share your blessings with all the peoples of the earth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." (Source: Collect for Independence Day, New Roman Missal)