Legislative Update Regarding 2021-2022 School Budgets
July 08, 2021
2021-2022 School Aid Budget
On June 30, the Michigan Legislature passed a bipartisan School Aid Budget (HB 4411) for the 2022 fiscal year. It has been presented to the Governor for her signature, which is expected within the upcoming days.
The most significant item in the budget is the closure of the gap between the state minimum and state maximum foundation allowance. This move is a historic, substantial win for charter public school students, who have historically been funded at the minimum level. The foundation allowance for FY 2021-22 will be $8,700 per student.
Other notable items in the budget are:
- The “membership blend” for counting students would return to the 90/10 blend that has historically been used.
- Cyber charter schools will receive 100% of the foundation allowance for the students they serve, instead of 80% as originally proposed by the Governor.
- The budget maintains or slightly increases funding for major categoricals, like at-risk (31a) funding and special education.
- New language was added to the budget that directs intermediate school districts (“ISDs”) to ensure that charter public schools located within their geographic boundaries equitable access to ISD coordination activities, services, regional meetings, superintendent meetings, programming, events and other coordination or collaboration activities.
Unlike the previous year’s budget, which provided broad but temporary flexibility to allow learning to continue during the pandemic, the bill does not include any new flexibilities for seat time and pupil accounting. Remote and virtual learning options for the 2021-22 school year should be provided in under existing law and guidance, like Section 5-O-D of the Pupil Accounting Manual, through a seat time waiver for innovative programs, or other established provisions.
ESSER II and ESSER III Funds
On July 7, Governor Whitmer signed into law a bill (HB 4421) that appropriates $4.4 billion in ESSER II funds and ESSER III funds.
A total of $841 million comes from ESSER II funding from December 2020, while $3.3 billion comes from ESSER III funding. Schools may use funds only as designated under federal law, including that 20% of ESSER III grant funds be reserved to address learning loss.
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