Legislative Update – 2/12/18

Executive Budget Highlights

  • Total Funding: The School Aid budget includes $12.7 b in School Aid Funds and $45m in General Fund for next fiscal year. In the current fiscal the School Aid Budget is funded at 12.5b SAF with $215m in GF support. (Sec. 11)
  • Per Pupil Foundation Allowance: The foundation allowance is increased using the 2x formula by $120- $240 per pupil. The Executive suggests the basic foundation of $8,409 and the minimum of $7,871. The gap between the higher funded districts and lower funded districts continues to narrow and, if the legislature accepts the suggestion of the Executive, will stand at $538 per pupil. (Sec. 20)
  • Cyber Schools: Those schools organized as Schools of Excellence will receive 75% of the minimum foundation allowance. (Sec. 20 Subsection 6)
  • Partnership Agreements: The Executive increases from $6m to $8m the amount assigned to assist districts in partnership agreements. (Sec. 21h)
  • Payments to rural districts is maintained at $5m (Sec. 22d)
  • Shared Time: Shared time agreements are funded at $64.1m. The boilerplate surrounding funding of these agreements has changed. In order to receive funding, the district must: (Sec. 23f)
    • Ensure criminal background checks
    • Any optional experience is offered on a schedule that would make it available to the majority of full-time pupils in membership in the district in the same grade level enrolled in the district
    • Additional reporting requirements to the Department
  • Promise Zones: Funded at $3m, an increase from $1.5m from current year (Sec. 26c)
  • At risk: Funding remains the same, however, the boilerplate has changed. Here are a few of the highlights: (Sec. 31a)
    • The bill specifies MTSS as an allowable expense
    • The grade levels for funding is expanding in most categories and can be used for literacy and numeracy
    • Additional requirements for ELL learners concerning implementation of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching strategies
    • Schools that are at least 50% at risk may use their funds for reforms that are consistent with their school improvement plan
    • Districts that are below the statewide average in ELA, math, or science shall achieve one of the following by Oct 1, 2021:
      • Attained the statewide average in the percentage of economically distressed students who are proficient in the 2020-2021 grade level and subject area assessments.
      • Attained improvement of at least 10% points in the same population
    • If a district doesn’t meet these benchmarks, the State Supt will assign a team of persons to assist the district. They don’t call it a partnership in the bill, but the description sounds exactly like the partnership process.
  • Early Literacy: Grants maintained funding. Additional language was added to designate staff or contracted employees associated with the grants as critical shortage employees. Michigan Education Corps was struck from this section (Sec. 35a)
  • Special Education Task Force: $500,000 was included for some of the Special Education Task Force suggestions. The funding would be used for enhancing the capacity of Michigan’s Parent Training Information Center, Michigan Alliance for Families, to increase direct advocacy efforts, work surrounding transition issues, and awareness of the organization. Additionally, the funding would improve mediation services offered through Michigan Special Education Mediation Program. (Sec. 54c)
  • Early On: A new state allocation for Early On was included and funded at $5m (Sec. 54d). The funding would be distributed as a pilot competitively to ISDs or a consortium of ISD for children birth to 3 years old with developmental delays and/or disabilities and their families according to the Early On Michigan State Plan. Additional details of the categorical include:
    • Each application shall be made in the form and manner determined by MDE
    • Funding will be used to increase Early On services and shall not be used to supplant existing services that are currently being provided.
    • Distribution shall occur by October 1, 2018 and will occur in multiple prosperity regions to ensure geographic diversity. Preference is given to those with Federal Medicaid Reimbursements.
    • Additional reporting requirements to MDE will apply
  • CTE Infrastructure Grants: CTE infrastructure grants were not included in the Executive Recommendation, but may appear in the Marshall plan set to be revealed this week (Formally Sec. 61c)
  • CTE Foundation Enhancement: The Executive recommends $5m for additional payments to districts for pupils enrolled in CTE programs. The funds would be distributed as follows: (Sec. 61d)
    • $25 per pupil in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in at least one career and technical program
    • $25 per pupil in grades 9-12 who are counted in membership in the district and are enrolled in at least one CTE program that provides instruction in critical skills and high-demand fields.
    • Critical skills and high-demand career field includes CIP codes for Agriculture, Natural Resources, Communications, Computer and Info Sciences, Engineering, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Construction Trades, Mechanic and Repaid Technologies, Precision Production, and Health Professions and related programs.
  • ISD Foundation: The ISD foundation allowance was maintained. (Sec. 81)
  • MISTEM: The funding for MISTEM is increased to $7.34m and the boilerplate surrounding the program was revamped to support the work of the MISTEM network regions and the fiscal agents in each region. (Sec. 99s)
  • Kindergarten Assessments/Observations: The funding and boilerplate for the Kindergarten Entry Observation was struck. The funding and boilerplate for the Kindergarten Entry Assessment was maintained and expanded.

MPSERS Changes: ISDs were not included in Sec. 147a. MPSERS rates were revised. A new subsection was included to clarify that public school employees that were first hired after January 31, 2018 and who elect to become members of the MPSERS plan will pay a payroll contribution rate of 39.37%, which 27.16% paid directly by the employer.