|FY2013 State Budget CLOSE TO COMPLETION|
State Budget Wins for Early Childhood Education and Before - and After - School Programming
The state budget for Fiscal Year 2013 is quickly coming to completion with the House and Senate agreeing to a final budget that will now head to Governor Snyder for his signature.
Michigan’s Children was pleased to see another increase for the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) – Michigan’s preschool program for four-year-olds at-risk of school failure. The GSRP program has proven outcomes. In addition to a high return on investment, high quality preschool programs ensure that young children are ready for school, improve student achievement and narrow the achievement gap, and ultimately contribute to higher high school graduation rates. While Michigan’s Children was working with partner advocacy organizations to ensure that the Senate’s $10 million increase for GSRP was retained in the final budget and that some of those dollars would be directed towards Michigan’s youngest children from birth through age three, the $5 million increase in the final budget is a great win for early childhood advocates.
Michigan’s Children will continue to focus on increasing investments in Michigan’s infants, toddlers, and their families. It is well documented that the first 1,000 days of life are critical for the healthy development of young children – a time when the brain is developing rapidly and early literacy and foundations for lifelong success can be solidified. More importantly, the first three years of life are critical to prevent large racial, ethnic, and economic-related disparities that begin to emerge as young as nine months of age and continue to grow throughout life. Though unsuccessful in increasing investments for Michigan’s youngest children in the 2013FY budget, the groundwork has been laid and Michigan’s Children will continue to focus on this priority.
Michigan’s Children is also pleased that $1 million for evidence-based before- and after-school programs was included in the final budget. Though the House budget included $5 million for before- and after-school programming, going from complete elimination in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget and getting some funding level back into the final Fiscal Year 2013 budget is a huge win and provides advocates a platform to increase that funding level in subsequent years. This funding targets learning opportunities during out-of-school times for children in kindergarten to ninth grade. Eligible programs must serve areas near schools that do not meet annual yearly progress and serve children with income below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Out-of-school programming pro-vides young people with experiences that reduce summer learning loss, improve school attendance, connect
classroom learning with life rele-vance, and reduce violence, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and other behaviors that place young people at risk of school failure. While these programs improve educational success for all students participating, they are most impactful for the students who face the most extraordinary educational challenges – kids from low-income families and kids of color.
To see more comprehensive budget reports highlighting the School Aid, Education, Community Health, and Human Services budgets, as well as an analysis of how the current budget impacts equity, please visit our online Budget Basics library.