Gov. Whitmer's $24.3 Million Education Budget More Money for Saline Schools
What does Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $24.3 billion education budget mean for Saline Area Schools?
More money. Perhaps more than enough to keep up with inflation. Whether or not it’s sustainable will be a question for another day.
The school district receives the majority of its funding from the state on a per-pupil basis. Whitmer’s budget increases the base foundation allowance by five percent, from $9,150 to $9,608. It also includes $160 million to provide free breakfast and lunch to 1.4 million students from families making less than $90,000 annually.
Miranda Owsley, assistant superintendent for finance for Saline Area Schools, explained that the funding hike would mean an additional $2.2 million yearly for the Saline district if student enrollment was flat. For now, the district is planning to lose 67 students, so Owsley is projecting an increase of $1.6 million in revenue from the state.
“This increase, along with several other one-time funding categories, are an amazing investment into education. We appreciate being at the forefront of this administration’s priorities,” Owsley said.
But Owsley’s is being cautious about the funding.
“The big question is if this level of funding from the state is sustainable and if increases can keep up with the rate of inflation,” Owsley said. “We keep this in mind as we continue to not only look at our short-term finances, but also plan long-term.”
Owsley noted that from 2006-07 to 2020-21, per-pupil funding increased by a total of $682.
Just three budgets later, per-pupil funding has increased by almost $1,500.
Owsley and the district’s finance team nailed the budget projections correctly in June, when the district passed a budget showing an additional $1.6 million per-pupil funding.
Despite the extra funding, the district was projecting a $1.7 million deficit on $78.3 million in spending. That, however, would change with an increase in enrollment.
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