Legislature Adopts State School Aid Budget

On June 24, 2014, Governor Synder signed the State School Aid Budget (2014 PA 196), which increases funding for the state’s K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities.

For the 2014-2015 school year, all school districts will receive at least $7,251 for their foundation allowance, which includes a one-time equity payment to ensure that every district receives at least the minimum allowance.

In addition, a district can receive an incentive payment of $50 per pupil if the district satisfies at least 7 of the 9 following “best practices” by June 1, 2015:
  • Acts as policyholder for health care services benefits;
  • Competitively bids at least one non-instructional service;
  • Participates in schools of choice;
  • Provides online or blended learning opportunities;
  • Provides a public online dashboard with finance and academic metrics;
  • Complies with school employee compensation determination requirements based on job performance and established evaluation standards, pursuant to Section 1250 of the Revised School Code;
  • Complies with the prohibited subjects of bargaining as enumerated under Section 15(3) of the Public Employment Relations Act;
  • Implements the Michigan Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program; and
  • Offers one credit worth of foreign language in grades K-8.

The minimum pupil instructional hours required to receive full state aid remains at 1,098 hours. For the 2014-2015 school year, to receive full state aid, the Act requires a school district to offer the greater of 175 days of pupil instruction or the number of school days offered by the school district in 2009-2010. If a collective bargaining agreement that provides for at least 170 days but less than 175 days, and at least 1,098 hours, of pupil instruction is in effect as of June 13, 2013, then the district shall provide at least the number of days of pupil instruction identified in the collective bargaining agreement, and at least 1,098 hours of pupil instruction, until the school year after the expiration of that collective bargaining agreement.  Beginning in 2016-2017, the required minimum number of days of pupil instruction to receive state aid will be 180.

The budget allots an additional $65 million for the Great Start Readiness Program. This will create opportunities in half-day slots for approximately 16,000 more children. The budget also requires the Michigan Department of Education to continue using the MEAP test instead of switching to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Coalition test that the state had planned to implement.