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Gov. Whitmer Puts Michigan Students, Parents & Teachers First with Bold Plan to Retain Teachers, Invest in Mental Health Resources, Expand Free Pre-K

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Gov. Whitmer reaffirmed her commitment to safely keeping schools open and ensuring every child has access to a quality education by unveiling a bold, new plan to increase per-pupil funding in schools, invest in mental health for students, recruit and retain teachers with bonuses and expand access to free pre-K.

The Detroit Free Press notes the governor’s proposal makes funding schools a “centerpiece” of her budget, as it will be the largest increase in education funding in nearly 20 years and will increase spending by 5% per student.

Addressing students’ wellbeing is another critical aspect of Gov. Whitmer’s proposal. The plan includes a $361 million investment for “opening 40 school-based health clinics, expand[ing] access to mental health screenings for students and fund[ing] mental health professionals inside schools,” the Detroit News highlights.

It also invests in recruiting and retaining quality educators by providing annual bonuses to teachers that would grow from $2,000 to $4,000 by 2025. The Associated Press also noted the plan allocates $600 million for “funding college scholarships for would-be educators, stipends for student teachers, training, and expanded programs to attract and keep teachers in their own communities.”

“Gov. Whitmer’s bold education plan addresses the biggest roadblocks facing schools, educators, parents, and students as they recover from the pandemic — without raising taxes on Michiganders,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “These comprehensive proposals to improve public education are just another example of how Gov. Whitmer is focused on solving the biggest problems facing Michigan families.”