SCOTTVILLE — Mason County Central Schools Superintendent Jeff Mount is optimistic, for the most part, about how Gov. Whitmer’s proposed 2020 fiscal year budget would impact the school district.
Mount spoke to school board trustees about the budget Monday at MCC High School, noting that there are several potential strengths to the proposal, including weighted funding allocations for students whose education could be more costly.
“Gov. Whitmer’s budget proposal is, from our perspective, a really good governor’s proposal,” Mount said. “She has additional funding and new funding for special education students, recognizing that they might cost an extra few dollars, and she has additional dollars for economically disadvantaged (students) and for career and technical education (CTE).”
On Tuesday, Mount told the Daily News that Whitmer’s proposed budget would be an adjustment because it’s based on a different model than what Michigan school districts have worked with since the Granholm administration, but he said the change could be could be a boon for rural school districts in the state.
The policy initiated by Granholm allocates School Aid Funding to higher education, and Mount said it’s a good thing that Whitmer plans to change that.
“The voters were duped ... under Gov. Granholm … and the budget was a wreck when that was the case,” he said. “(Granholm) started the process of taking money out of the school aid fund, and it’s been continued ever since. Gov. Whitmer has promised to close that back up and get (funding) back to K-12.”
He said he’s pleased with the proposed $507 million investment in the School Aid Fund, but noted that there are a few portions of the proposal that don’t help rural schools as much as they could.
Whitmer’s budget would change the formula by which school funding is allocated, and while it would result in a per-pupil increase of 2.3 percent — from $7,871 to $8,051 — Mount said that increase is not as high as he would like it to be.
Another area of the proposed budget that Mount finds lacking is the funding for public school transportation, which would still be based on an across-the-board allowance.
Read the full story in Wednesday's Ludington Daily News print or e-Edition.