Michigan panel approves increased funding for K-12 public schools and higher education institutions

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan's public schools would get about 3 percent more and it's community colleges and universities about 2 percent more in overall funding next fiscal year under measures approved by Republican-led budget panels Thursday.

Earlier this week, lawmakers agreed on the spending targets -- or how much each department will receive -- for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. Now they are working out the details in conference committees, sending the measures to the House and Senate floor for final approval.

Lawmakers want to get the final budget done by the end of next week. Here's a look at the budgets for Michigan's schools approved Thursday that are now headed to the chamber floor:

-- K-12: Michigan school districts that now get the minimum amount of state aid would get as much as $60 more per student, raising the per-pupil grant from $6,966 to $7,026. But some of the state aid for school districts goes toward covering teacher retirement costs. An amendment added Thursday would include $6 million in the budget to ensure that all districts see at least a $5 per-pupil boost despite other changes to the budget. In addition, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder would receive the $65 million increase next fiscal year that he wanted for a preschool program for 4-year-olds at risk of failing.

-- Community colleges: Michigan's community colleges would get an average 2 percent increase in state aid next fiscal year, which is in line with what Snyder proposed in February.

-- Colleges and universities: Michigan's colleges and universities would also see about a 2 percent increase in state aid but would be expected to keep their tuition rate increases at or below 3.75 percent to get money that is tied to performance. Republican Snyder had originally proposed that tuition increases be held at 4 percent before universities would lose some of their state aid. Performance funding is based on a number of factors, including research and development and the number of completed degrees.

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