Governor Snyder’s FY 2019 budget recommendation that was presented to the the joint Committee on Appropriations on Feb. 7 included a number of high points, as well as a few concerning issues. Overall, the proposed investment in K-12 education is strong considering the realities of lagging revenue growth. The MASA Government Relations and Policy Team has not had a chance to review the full budget bill line by line, but below are a few key takeaways for consideration. You can keep up to date throughout this year’s budget process at the MASA Budget Resource Center.
Gov. Snyder has proposed a foundation increase of $312 million. Using the 2X formula to distribute this new money, this results in a $120-$240 increase to the foundation allowance bringing the minimum and base foundations to $7,871 and $8,409 respectively.
Cyber School Foundation
The governor has proposed reducing the cyber school foundation allowance by $25 million and capping cyber school foundations at 75% of the foundation allowance.
The proposal includes a limited reimbursement for shared time pupils to 5% of the number of public school students enrolled in the district, and returning to a policy that limits participation to students in grades 1 to 12. Further, the recommendation includes an increase in transparency related to shared time programs.
The proposal includes a premium of $25 per pupil enrolled in K-12 CTE programs and a further premium of $25 for pupils enrolled in CTE programs related to high-demand career fields. Of the approximately 110,000 CTE students in the state, 70,000 would be eligible for the full $50.
The governor has proposed level funding for Section 81 (ISD) funding.
At Risk Funding (Sec. 31a)
At Risk Funding is maintained at $499 million and includes some performance metrics associated with the dollars. The details of which are not yet clear.
Governor Snyder proposed, again, a massive shift in tax policy suggesting that the state change how income tax refunds are calculated and would shift hundreds of millions of dollars away from the School Aid Fund. Recall that we fought this issue in the last lame duck session. At the time, the shift from gross to net for income tax revenue cost the School Aid Fund $433 million. We believe that number will be much higher this time around given all the new hits to the income tax that are circulating in the Legislature.