Sen. Johnson supports $4.3B in federal funds to help students and schools

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson on Tuesday voted for a supplemental budget bill to invest over $4.3 billion in federal funding to support Michigan students and schools effected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must do everything we can to ensure the future academic and career success of all Michigan students whose education was disrupted by the pandemic,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “We are providing our schools with over $4.3 billion in federal funding to help students recover from lost learning due to school closures and remote instruction.

“It includes nearly $930 million in in funding that was already passed by the Legislature but vetoed by the governor. The governor needs to make this right and approve critical funding to help students, teachers, parents, and schools who are struggling to recover.”

House Bill 4421 includes $840 million in federal relief funding to be distributed according to the federal Title I formula to support disadvantaged students and nearly $87 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) grants for nonpublic schools. These federal dollars were previously appropriated in HB 4048 and Senate Bill 29 but vetoed by the governor.

The bill also features $3.3 billion in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to be distributed through the Title 1 formula. School districts receiving the funds must use at least 20% of the support to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions.

HB 4421 would also use $93 million in federal ARP funding to provide services or assistance to nonpublic schools that enroll a significant percentage of low-income students and are most impacted by COVID-19.