Last week Governor Snyder proposed the $54.9 billion 2016-2017 budget titled, “We Are One Michigan.” Snyder identified fixing the Flint water crisis and Detroit Public Schools (DPS) as the top priorities for the spending plan. The $54.9 billion budget includes $10.2 billion in General Funds and $12.5 billion in School Aid Funds. The largest single share of the budget, almost 45 percent, is centered on health and human services, with another 30 percent focused on all forms of education.
In terms of helping Flint, the budget calls for $195 million to be spent across several agencies. Snyder told lawmakers that the state will operate on the assumption that all Flint children have been exposed to high lead levels, which will mean ongoing observation over the years. In helping Detroit schools, Snyder’s budget reiterates his earlier plan to assist the district in paying off its debt, to create a new district to operate the schools, and to have a commission appoint a manager for public schools within the city.
Other budget proposals include $533.3 million in dedicated funds for transportation revenue. For K-12 schools, a $150 million increase will boost what districts receive per pupil, with the lowest-funded districts receiving $120 more per pupil, bringing them to $7,511; and the highest-funded districts receiving $60 more, bringing them to $8,229.