House OKs education budget over Democrats’ objections

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan House has approved a $16.2 billion education spending plan with more money for school districts, public universities and community colleges. The budget bill OK’d 72-36 Tuesday is the first to clear either chamber. It would boost K-12 spending by $60 to $120 depending on the district. Fifteen public universities would see an overall 3.4 percent funding increase. Many Democrats voted against the bill, saying some universities’ funding would remain below levels from six years ago. They also oppose $1 million in funding to reimburse private schools for adhering to state mandates such as fire drills and giving cyber schools the same funding increases as traditional schools. Majority Republicans say it’s the largest combined education budget in state history. Lawmakers hope to finalize the 2016-17 budget by early June.