Governor Whitmer Wants Largest Increase In School Funding In 18 Years
Along with the largest gas tax increase in state history, Michigan’s Governor Whitmer is going to propose the largest school funding in 18 years.
It is being reported that Governor Whitmer will propose a $507 million increase in state K-12 classroom spending in her first budget. This increase will include a $120 to a $180 increase to the minimum per-student grant. Currently the minimum Michigan allowance would rise from $7,871 to $8,051 per student and the maximum would rise from $8,409 to $8,529.
The increase in per-pupil funding would total $235 million, along with a proposed increase of a $120 million for special education, $102 million more for at-risk students and a $50 million increase for career and technical education students.
The problem which is usually the problem with these proposed budgets is she does not inform us Michiganders how we are actually going to pay for these increases. The legislature would have to come up with a way to pay for these increases if they pass them but it would be nice for these politicians who want these increases to give us taxpayers a road map on where they would see these taxes coming from.
The Detroit News reported that her budget spokesman Kurt Weiss stated that:
She’ll talk about that tomorrow…and I think she’s shared her vision.
It is also being reported that taxes to our general fund, which is Michigan’s main source for discretionary spending, has approximately been flat since 2000 and is only projected to grow by just .2 percent in 2020. According to Michigan’s Treasury data, which was presented to Michigan lawmakers last week, our general fund taxes are expected to reach $10.9 billion by the year 2021. That is compared with $10.6 billion in the fiscal year 2000. They state that adjusted for inflation, general fund taxes are down approximately $4.6 billion over that span.
Our politicians can ask for all the additional spending they want Michigan taxpayers to pay for but I believe it is incumbent on them to give us an idea how they expect us to pay for it. Will it be new taxes and fees or a combination of new taxes and fees along with spending cuts in other parts of our budget? I believe that is a fair question to ask and I have asked that question of Republicans who have been on my show.
Michigan’s household income has not bounced back from earlier years, in 2005 our real medium household income in Michigan was at $57,930. If we look at that number today we are approximately at $55,000, and that real medium household income in Michigan is approximately $5,500 below the national average.
Governor Whitmer wants to increase out taxes for gasoline, increase our spending on education and legislators are looking to reform Proposal A our property tax law here in the state of Michigan. This reform of Prop A would include us paying more property taxes, when will it ever end. Sadly it appears never.
A question remains; can we really ask us Michiganders to pony up more taxes if our local and state governments have resisted cost-cutting steps to their budgets such as consolidation and justifying retirement benefits?
Can we ask us Michiganders to give more money to our schools that haven't adopted accountability measures and according to most studies are consistently producing students who do not measure up as compared to many other states?
Those are questions worth asking and have answered before these politicians come to us with their hands stuck out asking for more money. In reality they will not actually be sticking their hands out, their hands will just go straight to our back pockets and purses and just take our money.