MCAN applauds commitment to postsecondary education in Gov. Whitmer’s budget proposal
LANSING, Mich. — Earlier today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year that demonstrates her continued commitment to Sixty by 30 and lays out a plan to grow Michigan’s economy by investing in students, educators and educational institutions.
Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) applauds the governor’s postsecondary recommendations and dedication to creating a more equitable future for all Michiganders.
In the high-priority area of college affordability, the proposed budget includes:
- An investment of $55 million for Michigan Reconnect, which recently marked one year since its statewide launch and has helped 91,000 adult students begin tuition-free paths to degrees and certificates.
- An increase to the Michigan Competitive Scholarship award amount from $1,000 to $1,200.
Support for educational institutions includes:
- A proposed $32.4 million in funding to Michigan’s community colleges: $16.2 million for a 5% ongoing increase, and an additional $16.2 million as a one-time, 5% increase for operations.
- A proposed $152.6 million in support of the state’s universities: $76.3 million for a 5% ongoing increase, and an additional $76.3 million as a one-time, 5% increase for operations.
As part of a school aid budget that marks the biggest state education funding increase in more than 20 years and will address the challenges of staffing shortages in schools, the proposal includes:
- Bolstering teacher recruitment and retention by including $600 million for educator recruitment programs, and $1.6 billion for retention programs.
- Establishing the Michigan Future Educator Fellowship program, which would lower higher education costs for new teachers and other school staff, including mental health professionals.
To help reduce costs for students and limit annual tuition and fee increases, the proposed budget also includes a 5% tuition restraint provision for public universities. Continued funding at the level of $3 million is also included for MCAN’s college access work.
“Our state’s future depends on having a workforce that is ready for tomorrow’s jobs,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “We are encouraged to see the governor’s proposed budget include sustained funding for Michigan Reconnect, an ongoing investment into our state’s community colleges and universities, and new support for teachers and students. Through the American Rescue Plan Act and our state’s unexpected budget surplus, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lower barriers to college access for all of Michigan’s students — especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. As budget negotiations begin, we encourage the legislature to prioritize postsecondary access and success, moving Michigan toward our shared Sixty by 30 goal and helping to build a brighter future for all Michiganders.”
Read the education recommendations for the proposed budget here.