April 20, 2015

Act Now for Equitable Education Funding

This week, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will take up the state budgets for fiscal year 2016 with key spending provisions that will either reduce the education achievement gap or contribute to its growth.  Please contact your elected officials today and let them know that you support the Senate version of the School Aid and Education budgets that include more investments for programs that will improve the educational outcomes of Michigan’s most challenged learners.  And if your legislator is on the Appropriations Committee, your voice is even more critical right now.
  • 3rd Grade Reading Supports: The House version eliminates all funding for an array of services targeted to ensure more students are reading proficiently by 3rd grade. The Senate version includes $35 million in state investments targeted to early literacy efforts that support programs like parent coaching and support, and expanded learning through before- and after-school and summer learning opportunities. In addition to urging your legislator to adopt the Senate-version, you can review Michigan’s Children’s recommendations to improve third grade reading and talk to your legislator about some of these specific components as well.
  • At-Risk Funding: The Senate version includes a $100 million increase to At-Risk funding, which provides additional resources to schools who have students with challenges in their lives that impact their learning.  This flexible funding is currently dedicated to improving third grade reading and college/career readiness, and schools use it for an array of supports during or outside regular school hours such as tutoring services, early childhood programming, reading support, school-based health services, etc. The House version does not include this increase.
  • Adult Education: The Senate version includes a $7 million increase to adult education funding for a total of $29 million, while the House version eliminates this program altogether. Adult education is a critical component of a two-generation strategy to move the third grade reading benchmark, as decades of research have shown the impact of parental education on children’s education success.
Learn more about the different budget proposals by visiting our Budget Basics library.

Contact your legislators today!

215 S. Washington Square, Suite 110
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 485-3500

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