LANSING, MI — State Senator Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton), a former teacher and the Chairman of the Senate Pre-K-12 Education Budget, called attention to the additional financial supports for educator compensation included in the most recent school budget and urged districts across the state to make sure they are leveraging these dollars.

“We fought hard to get funding for teacher student loan forgiveness and at-risk money that can be used to bolster educator pay in our most recent school budget,” Camilleri said. “Those dollars are available now, and we want to make sure school employees and administrators across the state know about these programs and take full advantage of them.”

Michigan is leading the way nationally in helping improve compensation for educators to better attract and retain the best and brightest into the profession. Just in this year’s state budget, the following funding is dedicated to these purposes: 

  • $50 per pupil to directly increase educator compensation (sec. 27l) – $63.8 million
  • A program to repay the student loans of educators (sec. 27k) – $225 million
  • Directly reimbursed districts for 0.5% of educator salaries (sec. 147f) – $48.5 million
  • Scholarships for students in educator preparation programs (sec. 27a) – $25 million
  • Stipends for student teachers (sec. 27c) – $50 million
  • Rewards for Nationally Board-Certified teachers (sec. 27m) – $4 million
  • Creation of a state funded educator mentorship program (sec. 27h) – $50 million

Camilleri encouraged educators to ask their school districts about plans to access money to help boost staff salaries and allow them to access new benefits like student loan forgiveness. He also urged the Michigan Department of Education to ensure these funds were being delivered to districts and used for their intended purposes.

“We’re committed to addressing the teacher shortage by compensating educators at the level they deserve – and respecting the work they do every day for Michigan’s students,” Camilleri said.