The Michigan Constitution requires the governor to submit to the state Legislature a budget for the expenditure of funds for the following fiscal year. The constitution also requires any proposal that involves the expenditure of state funds to be passed by the state Legislature as an appropriations bill. Both of these constitutional provisions apply to the annual budget for Michigan elementary and secondary schools.
This education budget, known as the state “school aid budget,” is proposed annually as a bill (or bills) in either the state House or the state Senate,[lxxiii] with each chamber performing the bulk of the budget work in alternating years.[lxxiv] In whichever chamber is taking the lead that year, the bill is typically introduced by the chair of the appropriations school aid subcommittee. If the chamber is not controlled by the governor’s political party, the vice chair of the subcommittee (traditionally a member of the chamber’s minority party) will introduce the governor’s proposed school aid budget as a competing bill. In either case, a school aid budget bill will amend or repeal parts of the current State School Aid Act and provide money for the schools’ upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. [lxxv]
[lxxiii] Appropriation of school aid fund revenues is specified at MCL § 388.1611.
[lxxiv] For example, the major school aid budget work for fiscal 2008 is being performed by the state House.
[lxxv] The school aid budget is not the budget for the Michigan Department of Education, which is called the education budget.