Snyder ties incentives to student growth, dedicates $179 million to help pay school retirement costs
Gov. Rick Snyder this morning proposed a beefed up K-12 budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
He presented what he believes is a "very good package for the K-12 education system” and shows support to school districts and children statewide, he said.
A big part of that was a recommendation to dedicate $179 million in ongoing funds to help districts offset retiree pension and health care costs. Snyder said this is part of his plan to help schools "re-deploy dollars to the classroom."
Snyder’s proposal includes keeping the per-pupil foundation allowance at $6,846 for the upcoming school year, but he said the state will be investing more in education overall.
He proposed a 1-percent increase in funding to K-12, which would mean districts would receive $113 million more than they did this year. An additional $200 million from the general fund surplus will be awarded to school districts that again meet Snyder’s “best practices.”
Student growth and performance will be added to the list of things Snyder expects to see from districts in order to receive additional funding. Intermediate school districts will be eligible for these extra dollars, contrary to 2012.
Of the $200 million, districts will have a shot at a share of $70 million for meeting performance criteria in the areas of mathematics in grades 3-8, reading in grades 3-8 and all high school subject areas.
Snyder said the state needs to be rewarding success and results.
"If someone walked up to you and said, 'Please give me $5.' Most you would say tell me what you are doing with that money," he said. "If you are in that group that likes to give away money, I'd be happy to collect it for the rainy day fund. ... But most of us like to see something if we are asked that by a family member or a friend.
"It's the philosophy for long-term success."
Snyder is proposing $120 million be divided among districts that meet five of six best-practice criteria:
- Publishing a dashboard
- Serving as a policyholder for health benefits
- Participation in schools of choice
- Monitoring student growth in each subject area at least twice a year
- Offering dual enrollment, Advanced Placement courses, participating in a middle college or offering other post-secondary learning opportunities
- Offering online or blended learning
A final $10 million in state grants would be available to help districts consolidate services. Snyder is hopeful this money will allow districts to "come up with efficiencies they otherwise wouldn’t be able to fund."
In laying out his case for reform, the governor noted Michigan ranks 21st in the country in per-pupil expenditures, yet it ranks 39th in the nation when it comes to fourth-grade math proficiency and 34th in reading proficiency. Fewer than 50 percent of students are proficient in writing, and ACT test scores need improvement, he said.