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per pupil funding

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Teachers in Michigan’s second-largest school district are taking big cuts in their new contract.

The two-year contract approved this week includes wage and benefit concessions from Utica teachers of more than $9 million.   

The agreement includes:

·         Five furlough days

·         Benefit change to high deductible health insurance

·         Dental insurance carrier change

·         Step freeze for the first year of the agreement (2017-2018)

·         Half-step freeze for the second year of the agreement (2018-2019)

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, Gov. Snyder rolls out his final budget plan.

He’s promised more money for K-12 education.   

In his State of the State address last month, Snyder promised the largest increase in minimum per pupil funding in 15 years. We’ll find out exactly how much that will be when his budget plan is delivered to state lawmakers on Wednesday.

Michigan teachers will be closely watching.

The Michigan Education Association calls news media reports saying the governor will propose a $233 increase “promising.”

There is some good news for Michigan school administrators worrying about the outcomes of today’s  school millage votes. A new Michigan State University poll of nearly a thousand state residents finds  most want education protected from state budget cuts.   

The State of the State survey finds education is the highest priority among Michiganders. The poll found support for state education funding consistent across all demographic groups and political affiliations.

William Schmidt is a statistics and education professor at MSU. He says the poll shows the importance that people place on education. Though he admits people often vote their own economic interest when asked to decide on school millages. 

 “They seem…conceptually at least…to think education is important.   And should be front and center.  But then…very often they vote their economic concerns…which is they don’t want their taxes raised.”  

Education spending is expected to take a big hit as state lawmakers deal with Michigan’s massive budget deficit. They are talking about slashing per-pupil funding by $300 to more than $400.