Whitmer signs education spending bill, says it will reduce cost of college for most students
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a multi-million-dollar education spending bill Tuesday.
The bill details award amounts for a new scholarship program and increases scholarship funding.
Students eligible for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship could receive up to $2,750 annually for community college tuition, $5,500 for a public university, and $4,000 for private colleges and universities. That’s according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“I’m really excited about this because I knew it’s going to make a difference in the lives of so many young people in our state,” Whitmer said at an announcement event in Southfield Tuesday. "As we think about ensuring that Michigan is a place that can attract and retain young talent, leveling the financial barrier is one important aspect to doing that."
The graduating class of 2023 will be the first to receive the scholarships.
The new legislation also requires the amount of money put into the Postsecondary Scholarship Fund, which pays for the achievement scholarship and other awards, to increase by $50 million each year until it fully covers the costs of the program.
State Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. He said the spending will pay off for the state long-term.
“Looking at trades, looking at certificate programs, community colleges and universities, I think our big return on investment is our kids and our Michigan families,” Stamas said.
Before the bill signing, the governor also gave an update on her plan to build up the state's economy, a little over a year after unveiling it.
The MI New Economy plan had set goals to get 100,000 families out of poverty, increase the percentage of adults with a postsecondary degree, and increase high-speed internet access.
Whitmer said some targets have already been reached.
“In the last year, we worked across the aisle to expand access to low or no cost childcare to 150,000 more kids. And we met this goal. Our progress on childcare is proof of what’s possible when we work together,” she said.