With Federal Stimulus Money Coming to Michigan, It’s Critical for Governor and MDE to Release Their Share to Local Schools Immediately

The K-12 Alliance of Michigan today released the following statement from Mark Greathead, Superintendent of Woodhaven-Brownstown Schools and K-12 Alliance President, regarding the deployment of stimulus funding to schools.

“The federal stimulus package passed in December was a helpful step forward for schools, however, the distribution of those funds will see some districts receiving a much higher share of that funding than a neighboring district at a time when every school and every student has an urgent need for additional support. As both Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Education will also receive funding as part of that stimulus package, it’s critical that they quickly turn their share of the money around and distribute it to local schools on a simple per-pupil basis without strings attached to ensure that students, regardless of which school district they live in, are able to get the support they need. As schools continue to run multiple programs within each district to accommodate the needs of all learners, remote and in-person, they are also beginning to explore the long-term costs associated with remediation from significant learning loss. In addition to the need for this short-term funding to provide relief from the immediate costs our schools are facing, we need commitments from the Governor and Legislature that they are ready to reverse the trend of raiding the School Aid Fund to balance other budget priorities and instead make the real, long-term investments our students deserve to assist in their academic and emotional recovery from this pandemic.”

Under the federal stimulus package passed in December, both Governor Whitmer, through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Grants (GEERS), and the Michigan Department of Education, through Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) dollars, will receive funding outside of the direct aid schools will receive, which will be distributed through the federal Title 1A process. If allocated on a per-pupil basis, the GEERS and ESSER funding would ensure schools receive roughly $125 additional dollars per-pupil, money that would be able to help every Michigan school continue to provide the necessary services to students through this pandemic and beyond.

The K-12 Alliance is the leading advocate for policies that support a stronger public education system in Michigan