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Published: Thursday, 7/24/2008

Bill to increase K-12 spending awaits Michigan governor


LANSING - Michigan's K-12 public schools would get between $56 and $112 more per pupil next budget year under a spending plan headed to Gov. Jennifer Granholm for her signature.

The bill passed the state House yesterday, 68-39. The bill establishing funding for the fiscal year that starts in October already has passed the Senate.

It also includes about $15 million for a plan to expand a pilot project and help create smaller high schools in some Michigan districts. Some early-education and childhood-development programs will get a fund boost.

"It is the governor's intent to sign the bill to fund Michigan's K-12 schools," Granholm spokesman Liz Boyd said.

The bill was opposed by some Detroit Democrats who said it would open the door to letting other school districts establish competing schools in the city.

Detroit schools are struggling with falling enrollment. They will get $103 more per student next school year under the formula soon to become law. The amount of the rise will vary by district, but per-pupil hikes of less than 2 percent won't cover inflation nor likely prevent more cuts in some school budgets.

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