Rep. Whiteford supports bipartisan education agreement reached with governor, legislative leaders

Categories: News,Whiteford News

Plan waives school days, ensures workers are fully compensated

State Rep. Mary Whiteford today announced the Legislature has reached a bipartisan agreement with the governor regarding education response in the wake of school closures brought on by coronavirus.

The agreement closes all public and private school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year unless they are later deemed safe. It also forgives 15 days of instruction beyond the nine snow days currently allowed under state law. School districts are required to use resources from days that have been waived to ensure all hourly and contracted employees are fully compensated.

“The decision to close schools was not made lightly,” said Whiteford, of Casco Township. “Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of our Michigan communities and this plan is an important part of achieving that goal. With that said, the education of our students also remains a priority. This new model for at-home instruction will ensure students have the best chance at success given the circumstances.”

To allow for home-learning options, school districts are granted a waiver from requiring students to be physically in their school buildings. Education plans should try to address the needs of all students including special education and students who lack access to technology.

“As a parent and grandparent, I’m so impressed to see and hear what families across our communities are doing to make at-home learning not only possible, but also fun and exciting,” Whiteford said. “I urge parents to continue that dedication throughout the coming weeks and months to ensure our kids stay on track.”

Whiteford also said school districts will be allowed to begin the 2020-2021 school year in August, prior to the Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday, to make up for unfortunate learning loss that has resulted from the time out of school this year.