Zorn supports historic K-12 budget

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Wednesday voted to support a K-12 school budget that would increase school funding a record $17 billion. The bill now heads to the governor.

“Educating our children is one of the most important investments we can make, and this historic K-12 budget illustrates our commitment to ensuring all Michigan students get the education they need to be successful,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “We are increasing school funding to a record $17 billion, which is over $4 billion more than when I joined the Legislature in 2011.

“Under this budget, every school district across Michigan will finally receive the same amount in minimum per-pupil foundation allowance funding from the state. For some schools, that means an increase of $589 per student.”

House Bill 4411 includes a $683 million boost to bring every Michigan school district’s foundation allowance up to at least $8,700 per student.

The bill invests a total of $17 billion in K-12 education, including $362 million for equalization payments, $7.5 million for career and technical education equipment, $10 million in school safety grants, and $240 million to help schools hire mental health professionals to help students dealing with anxiety and depression.

HB 4411 also features a nearly $169 million increase to improve access to preschool, reduce class sizes and hire highly qualified teachers.

“To help students recover from any learning loss when schools were closed to in-person instruction, this budget includes $155 million in reading scholarships and additional resources for schools that adopt a year-round schedule,” Zorn said.