What Parents Need to Know About the 2024 Michigan Education Budget

Learn how Michigan is funding education for its youngest students during the 2023-2024 school year.

On July 31, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the $81.7 billion “Make it in Michigan” budget for the 2024 fiscal year. The budget includes $24.3 billion for schools and education. 

The education budget, which received bipartisan support in the House and the Senate, is funding transformative school programs with the highest-ever per-pupil allocation in Michigan’s history. 

“Every Michigan child deserves a chance to pursue their potential and build a bright future. This historic education budget will make that possible,” said Governor Whitmer in a news release. “This budget puts students first and supports parents by expanding access to free preK, providing free breakfast and lunch to all public school students and improving higher education.”

The 2024 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, which means this ambitious increase in funding will impact the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. Read on to learn how Michigan is investing in its students’ education, from preK to the college level.

Investing in early education

Michigan’s 2024 education budget focuses on funding initiatives that will support students throughout their academic journey, from free preschool to free meals for public school students.  

Gov. Whitmer’s ambitious goal to provide free Pre-K for All by 2027 received $254.6 million in funding, which means 5,600 more preschoolers will attend school for free this fall. 

Families will save even more on school expenses thanks to $160 million set aside to provide free breakfast and lunch to all 1.4 million public school students. The program could save families over $850 a year per student. 

The budget also invests in a variety of early literacy and academic intervention programs for students who come from low-income backgrounds and are at-risk of falling behind in school. Support for disadvantaged students in grades K-12 received a $204.5 million increase in funding. 

Other early education investments in the 2024 state budget include: 

  • $343 million for student mental health support and safety
  • A $310.3-million increase in special education funding
  • $150 million for MI Kids Back on Track, a state program that provides individualized academic assistance and tutoring to students who are at-risk of falling behind
  • $150 million for rural bus transportation 
  • $140 million early literacy instruction
  • A $90.9 million increase for Great Start Readiness Program, a state-funded preschool for 4-year-olds
  • $50 million for before- and after-school programs
  • $13.3 million for a 50% increase in funding for English language learners.

Investing in teachers

To address the state’s teacher shortage, the 2024 budget is funding pilot programs and fellowship programs that support teachers and future educators.

“The budget makes Michigan one of the lowest-cost states to become a teacher, with tuition-free training, student loan repayment and stipends for those who are completing their student teaching,” said Gov. Whitmer in a news release.

The education budget set aside $225 million for a pilot student loan repayment program. Educators are eligible for up to $200 a month to repay their student loans. Employees who work in school districts where 85% or more of their students come from low-income households will be eligible for up to $400 per month. 

Another pilot program to increase teachers’ salaries on a per-pupil basis received $68.3 million. 

To support future educators, $25 million was set aside for the MI Future Educator Fellowship Program. The program, which offers scholarships to 2,500 educators each year, also received $50 million to pay stipends to student teachers.

Investing in higher education

In addition to supporting future educators, the budget also invests in higher education for all Michigan students.

The budget provides a 5% increase to state university and community college operations. It also allocates $112 million for improvements to existing infrastructure, facilities, technology and security on university and community college campuses. An additional $10 million was allocated to further improve campus safety through critical incident mapping.

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to Michigan high school graduates in higher education or career training programs, received an additional $50 million investment.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.


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