Gov. Whitmer Signs Education Budget Recruiting Teachers for MichiganExperts say the 2022-23 budget increases Michigan’s competitiveness in teacher training and retention through $530 million in support for aspiring teachers and over $20 billion in broader education funds –without raising taxes.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an education budget for 2022-23 that experts say will help recruit and train teachers, improve the quality of schools, fund critical building repairs, and make sure students have access to books and supplies they need in order to learn.

Advocates are already praising the budget. The Michigan Education Association (MEA) has described the budget as “visionary.” State Senator Dayna Polehanki, a former teacher, explained that “there is not much more important than rebuilding Michigan’s teacher pipeline.”

Experts say that those who wished to pursue a career in education in Michigan were often stymied by impossible choices between basic costs of living and continuing their education. Brittany Perreault and Maya Murray, outgoing and incoming AEM presidents, cited unpaid teaching internships and low pay as primary factors that discourage many prospective teachers from completing their degrees or push them to pursue opportunities in neighboring states.

Accordingly, the new budget provides funds and programs to help retain and support prospective teachers including $305 million for a Future Educators Fellowship with $10,000 grants for students who commit to being teachers in Michigan after graduation; $50 million for $9,600 stipends per semester to help students with expenses; and $175 million for districts to recruit, train and retain new teachers.

Beyond those provisions designed to support teacher training and retention, Gov. Whitmer’s 2022-23 budget represents a major investment in education, achieved without a tax-hike, providing $19.6 billion for PreK-12 schools, $530 million for community colleges, and $3.5 billion for universities.