- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Michigan House, Senate pass similar school budgets
Question of the Day
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Senate and House passed similar school budget bills Thursday that would increase per-pupil spending on K-12 education for next fiscal year.
The Republican-led Senate voted 26-12 in favor of a $13.74 billion budget, mostly along party lines. It would boost overall spending from roughly $13.3 billion this year and increase per-pupil funding by between $150 and $300, depending on the school. That increase would total $415 million.
The $13.76 billion House budget passed 97-12. It raises per-pupil funding by between $56 and $112, totaling $141 million.
Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget includes an average $100 increase in Michigan’s per-pupil grant, with the minimum grant rising from $7,076 to $7,187 and the maximum from $8,049 to $8,132.
Both the House and Senate budgets require a new version of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program for spring testing in the next two school years. Use of a new, unspecified standardized test is scheduled to start in the 2016-17 school year.
That leaves in question plans to administer tests aligned with uniform national education standards known as Common Core. For almost four years, Michigan has participated in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two broad groups of states developing companion tests to the Common Core standards.
Snyder, the state Education Department, business community and some education groups support the Common Core, which many conservatives nationwide have denounced as a top-down takeover of local schools.
Differences among the budget drafts will be hammered out in House-Senate conference committees after lawmakers and Snyder’s administration meet in mid-May to get a consensus update on revenue projections.
The Senate also approved a general government spending proposal and budgets for the Departments of Human Services, Education and Corrections. The approved House bill included community college and higher education spending.
Some Senate Democrats criticized the distribution of funds in the K-12 budget as well as in higher education and community colleges budgets that passed Tuesday, saying money from the state’s School Aid Fund used in those budgets should be reserved for K-12.
“We’re left with once again raiding the School Aid Fund to make up for the money now missing from the General Fund,” Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, said. “Our kids shouldn’t have to pay for corporate tax handouts, nor should they have to pay for the poor budgeting of this body. School Aid Fund dollars were intended to be spent on one thing only: our K-12 schools.”
Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee for the K-12 budget, said the budget is “a great investment in our future” and it “substantially” increases per-pupil funding.
“That makes this budget a dang good budget, and one that we can call be proud of,” he said.
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Sarah Palin's online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Feds accept boredom, lack of work as excuses for surfing porn on clock
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world