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In a Nutshell
- As of October 2022, Michigan’s traditional and charter public schools have spent $2.1 billion of the nearly $5.6 billion federal COVID-19 dollars directly allocated to them under the last two federal relief packages. This leaves them with another $3.5 billion to program over the current and next two school years, before hitting the September 2024 federal spending deadline.
- Just 95 of Michigan’s 800-plus school districts account for $2.3 billion of the total $3.5 billion in unspent federal aid. These districts comprise approximately 12 percent of all districts in the state, but they account for nearly seven of every ten unspent federal relief dollars. Some of these districts have remaining federal per-pupil balances equivalent to two or three times their annual $9,150 state per-pupil foundation allowance.
- State policymakers should take note of the amount of federal relief funds that schools still have at their disposal and, just as importantly, which districts have the largest balances remaining. This information should be factored into upcoming state budget decisions to ensure that future state School Aid Fund investments in K-12 schools are appropriately leveraged to address the educational recovery needs of all Michigan school children affected by the pandemic and to fill in the funding gaps for those schools that did not receive large allotments of federal relief funding and on supporting those schools where students are furthest behind academically and developmentally.