Dems submit bill for FY08 school aid appropriations

22 February — An appropriations bill on school aid for FY2008 was introduced yesterday by Sens. Michael Switalski (D-Roseville) and minority leader Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek). The bill increases spending from the School Aid Fund by 2.9% to $11.986 billion, raising per-pupil foundation allowances by $178 from what was originally budgeted for the current year. (This brings the “basic” foundation allowance to $7,286 from $7,085, since the $23 “equity payment” for low-spending districts was factored in as well.)

No revenue plan for funding these increases was proposed, as Democrats in the Legislature challenge Republican lawmakers to present their own alternative budget. Senate Republicans last week killed the Governor’s executive order to plug the hole in the budget for this fiscal year; the executive order relied on new and restructured taxes to increase revenues, some of which would be used to cover the shortfall in education spending this year and increase it next year. Republicans have responded that they will make their proposals known “in due time;” meanwhile, the governor has 30 days in which to make a revised proposal of her own to the Legislature.

To follow the progress of this bill (SB 263), visit this page on the Michigan Legislature site.