Catholic Schools in Jeopardy of Losing Important State Support

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UPDATE posted on May 3, 2024: 

Grassroots Advocacy Helps Restore Nonpublic School Funding in House Budget

School safety funding for nonpublic schools is back in the state budget under a revamped education spending plan that the House Appropriations Committee approved and sent to the House floor this week.

Read the full release from Michigan Catholic Conference here.


Original story posted on April 22, 2024:

In February, a Michigan state budget recommendation was presented to members of the appropriations committees for both the House and Senate and it looks much different from previous years. Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, along with all nonpublic schools across Michigan, are at risk of being excluded from 2025 state budget initiatives in several important areas.

In years past, Catholic schools have been eligible for state dollars to continuously improve school safety and protect students’ mental health. Some of our schools have used these dollars to build more secure entrance doors, implement digital apps that connect the school to local law enforcement, and add important web filters to block harmful content and encourage students to be better digital citizens. The 2025 proposed budget excludes nonpublic schools from this vital resource. 

The Michigan Association of Non-public Schools (MANS) continues to encourage all Michiganders with a heart for nonpublic education to contact our state representatives. “Your voice is critical in explaining to the legislature the importance of including nonpublic schools in these funding initiatives.” 

This has proven true, as grassroots efforts (4,000+ individuals!) across the state have already made their voice heard and successfully pushed to re-incorporate nonpublic schools into two crucial sources of state funds. The Senate K–12 Appropriations Subcommittee unveiled and then approved a proposed school spending plan for the fiscal year that begins October 1. The budget restored $600,000 in grants for nonpublic school students to participate in robotics competitions, as well as $1 million for nonpublic schools to pay for the cost of complying with state-implemented health and safety mandates.

This is a sign of hope for those of us with an interest in Catholic education, and it should encourage us to keep defending Catholic schools at the state level. The state budget should promote safety and mental health wellness of all Michigan students, regardless of where they attend school. Please contact your local state representative today here