5 Things Parents Should Know About New Detroit Public Schools Budget

This year’s proposed budget allocates money to address literacy, mental health and more.

Detroit Public Schools Community District has released its proposed budget for the 2025 fiscal year totaling $1.178 billion, an increase of roughly $134.6 million from last year.

If accepted by the deadline at the end of the month, parents should expect to see funding for literacy interventions, mental health and more in the coming year. 

A big change for this year is the inclusion of $94.4 million won from the Literacy Lawsuit, a case brought against the state for allegedly failing to make sure students were properly educated during the 20 years when it controlled Detroit Public Schools. The money will be used to further the Detroit district’s literacy goals.

The Detroit district’s 2025 budget also proposes a funding allowance for making the transition from COVID funding easier for school leaders, among other important changes. 

School leaders nationwide are extremely concerned about transitioning out of using ESSER funding, the huge influx of federal money given to schools during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools across the country are struggling to keep up the funding for programs and extra staff they were able to afford with the funds that are now running out.

Read on for a breakdown of five of the most important parts of the 2025 budget that parents should know. 

Improving literacy 

The Detroit district plans to increase literacy by budgeting money for improving its core and small group instruction, adding diverse learner supports, offering a high dosage online tutoring program and creating a culture of literacy 

The Detroit district’s proposal would add additional literacy academic interventionists in grades K-4, hire teachers to reduce K-3 class sizes and offer enhanced literacy sessions with stipends as part of its Parent Academy. 

Literacy interventions for English Language Learners is a priority in this year’s budget. The Detroit district plans to add academic interventionists specifically for ELL students and to purchase ELL development curriculum. 

Focusing on mental health

The 2025 budget allocated funds for maintaining the current mental health supports in place for students. 

With help from community partners, the Detroit district is able to place a clinician at each school to provide no-cost health and wellness services to students. For other care through the district’s community partners, parents can contact their school’s counselor. 

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred Michigan legislators to invest in children’s mental health. Last year, the state budget gave schools statewide $328 million to address student mental health and school safety. 

Increasing staffing

After last year’s budget cuts, educators will be glad to know the Detroit district is aiming to increase staff in 2025 as well as increase salaries.

The district is notably hiring more K-3 teachers, academic interventionists in grades K-4, ancillary ESE staff and volunteers to support students with literacy skills during the school day. 

Bonuses for hard to staff roles and for performance are also allocated in the 2025 budget.

School culture changes

The Detroit district plans to invest in executive coaching for principals and central office leaders and expand individualized professional development for school leaders. It’s not all professional development–the budget also includes team building activities for school staff. 

Students are included in the plan to improve climate and culture, too. There is now more funding for “fun activities” for students as well as scaled student attendance incentives, high school literacy intervention incentives and paid student internships.

Finally, to increase transparency and efficiency, the district is allocating funds to hire staff to help speed up employee investigations.

Stabilize after COVID relief funds run out

Last year’s budget cut and layoffs were a direct response to the ending of COVID relief dollars and a decline in enrollment post-pandemic. This year, the Detroit district plans on stabilizing Central Office staff and educators as well as using some funds to proactively prevent challenges that may arise from the COVID relief money running out. 

Meanwhile, more money for a marketing campaign in this year’s budget hopes to bring in more students and in turn, more stabilizing funds. 

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Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn is a freelance journalist, copy editor and proud Detroiter. She is a graduate of Wayne State University’s journalism school and of the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University. Amanda is a lover of translated contemporary fiction, wines from Jura and her dog, Lottie.


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