Higher ed finance bill clears Michigan senate with bipartisan support

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture

The Michigan Senate passed a higher education finance bill that includes $250 million in additional funding and a tuition freeze at the state’s public colleges and universities by a 44-22 vote on Friday. Six Republicans joined all DFLers in voting for the measure.

The increased funding includes $102 million for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, $79 million for the University of Minnesota and $75 million for the state’s tuition assistance program.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Terri Bonoff, chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, also includes the “Dream Act,” which allows undocumented high school graduates to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Another provision that sparked some controversy is $1.5 million in funding for Teach for America, a program that links up recent college graduates with struggling schools. Gov. Mark Dayton has raised concerns about it, suggesting the possibility that he could strike it through a line-item veto.

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