Runestad: Students head back to school supported by record funds

From White Lake Patch

Schools are headed back supported by record state funding and a renewed emphasis on preparing for the workforce, Rep. Jim Runestad said

Students across Oakland County are headed back to school supported by record state funding and a renewed emphasis on preparing for the workforce, Rep. Jim Runestad said today.

“Local schools are getting more resources to help students succeed in all areas,” Runestad said. “From learning to read at an early age to training for a career in the trades, we’re giving our students the skills they need to build a better future.”

During the past two years in the Michigan House, Runestad has helped deliver an estimated $11.2 million funding increase for the three Oakland County schools he represents.

The foundation increase this coming school year alone amounts to an estimated $2.17 million for Huron Valley School District, $1.65 million for Walled Lake Consolidated School District and nearly $2.1 million for Waterford School District.

With this increase, every school district in Michigan will receive at least $7,871 per student in the state’s basic foundation allowance this academic year. The annual per-student foundation allowance increase is the largest in 15 years.

“My father was a principal, my mother was a teacher, and I graduated with an education degree from Central Michigan University before going onto work as an instructor and start my own business,” Runestad said. “My background taught me that nothing is more important than investing in our kids.”

Michigan’s commitment to education goes well beyond the basic foundation allowance. The state also is allocating $100 million for the Marshall Plan for Talent, designed to expand and improve skilled trade career opportunities for students.

“Our investment opens the door for more young people to learn the skills they need to succeed in all aspects of life,” Runestad said. “Improved training programs will ensure our children and grandchildren are better prepared to fill well-paying jobs that are in high demand.”

More money will go to early literacy and special education programs this year, following up last year’s significant increase in funding for students who are considered at risk either financially or academically.

School safety also is a high priority with $25 million set aside statewide for grants to improve building security, plus additional resources to expand the OK2SAY school safety tip reporting system and an advanced 911 secure schools program.

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