July 21, 2023, WOODTV, Grand Rapids, MI: Michigan K-12 school budget boosts special education https://www.woodtv.com/news/michigan/michigan-k-12-school-budget-boosts-special-education/amp/
On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law the largest K-12 school budget in the state’s history for the 2024 fiscal year, with $310 million going toward special education.
“We are thrilled that this shift is happening, and it really is a turning point,” said Heather Eckner, Director of Statewide Education for the Autism Alliance of Michigan.
Kaeta DeHoek lives in Caledonia and has a 14-year-old daughter with Cerebral Palsy. She said she hopes the funding not only helps the students but school staff as well.
“It will be really nice to see that extra money help students and teachers,” she said. “I mean, teachers’ resources are, they’re sparse at times.”
Eckner said there is still a lot of work to be done but with this new budget, the state is one step closer to providing the necessary resources for children with special needs.
According to Eckner, only 58% of students with disabilities are earning a regular high school diploma in Michigan compared to 84% of all students in the state.