Michigan Department of Education gets 54% boost in funding in upcoming budget



(The Center Square) – The Michigan Department of Education is set to receive a 54% increase in funding in the 2023-24 budget despite lagging student test scores.

The proposed budget increases funding for the MDE from $420.6 million in the current budget to $647.4 million in 2023-24. That’s a $226 million increase from the previous fiscal year.

In 2022, Michigan reported declines in test scores in all four categories in the assessment known as The Nation’s Report Card done by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Michigan’s scores dropped in grades 4 and 8 reading and math and the state placed below the national average in grade 4 reading and grade 4 math.

Department of Education spokeswoman Lauren Leen laid out why the department was set to get a substantial boost in funding in 2023-24.

“Gross dollar amounts for MDE increased primarily by two things:

The majority of the increase in the MDE budget is in the Child Development and Care program ($166m of the $226m increase), which provides free or reduced cost childcare for income eligible families. This is primarily a federally funded program. The dollar increases are due to increasing numbers of eligible families and to continue the current law income eligibility at 200% of the federal poverty level.

A large portion of the current year (FY23 funding) was appropriated in FY22 and was carried forward into FY23 with other federal COVID-19 stimulus dollars – and therefore doesn’t show up in the current law FY23 amounts. Because these dollars are not appropriated in FY23 and therefore do not appear in FY 23 current law amounts, it makes the apparent FY24 increase appear larger. The increase is additional authorization of federal money to continue current practices.

The other large item is $40 million to support the construction of a new dormitory for the Michigan School for the Deaf, which is a residential school operated by the state in the Genesee County Intermediate School District to provide specialized education services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

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