Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday proposed a $61.9 billion state budget, including what she said would be the biggest increase for Michigan classroom operations in 20 years.
The plan would boost overall spending by 3.9%.
Whitmer, a Democrat, proposed increasing base per-student funding by $225, or 2.8%, for most schools. She also proposed $60 million increases for special education and academically at-risk and economically disadvantaged students, and $250 payments to teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies.
Whitmer again sought funding from the Republican-led Legislature for her proposed Reconnect program to provide tuition-free community college or technical training to nontraditional students age 25 and older who don’t have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. It is backed by the business lobby but was not enacted last year.
Unlike in 2019, Whitmer did not make a fuel tax increase the linchpin of her budget proposal — having recently announced that the state will borrow money to start fixing state-owned roads and bridges.
“This is a thoughtful budget that focuses on increased funding for education and skill development, providing for the health and needs of working families, and protecting Michigan’s water,” she said in a statement.
Whitmer proposed $37.5 in new spending to reduce infant mortality rates and provide expanded health care to pregnant Medicaid recipients and those with infants.