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Mon October 5, 2009
Federal funds to MI schools halted because of budget impasse
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state Department of Education says it cannot distribute millions of dollars in federal funds to local schools because Michigan does not have a K-12 schools budget.
Michigan's schools chief says without a budget, his department has no authority to disburse about $20 million a week that goes to reimburse schools for special education, low-income lunches, migrant education, and after-school programs, among other things. The K-12 budget remains undone almost a week into the state's new fiscal year, and the House and the Senate have been unable to reach an agreement on a temporary budget to keep money flowing to schools. In a written statement, superintendent Michael Flanagan called on the Legislature to enact a temporary budget so the state can resume sending the payments.
There is a temporary budget waiting on state Senate approval. A state Senate Republican spokesman says lawmakers will do what they have to do to ensure schools get their money.