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Rep. Afendoulis: Legislature approves education restart plan emphasizing local control, parental involvement and accountability
RELEASE|August 17, 2020

Rep. Lynn Afendoulis today supported a plan aimed at preserving local control and parental involvement in decision-making while helping Michigan students get back to school safely.

“There’s absolutely nothing more important than the safety of our children – and this plan acknowledges what’s safe in one community might not be safe in another during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Afendoulis, of Grand Rapids Township. “That’s why I advocated for local control since the early days of this outbreak. This plan empowers local districts to work with local health departments, medical professionals, and others to create standards based on their local data – and do what’s best for their communities.”

The plan approved by the House today is headed to the governor for consideration.

The legislation will allow local school districts to determine the best course of action for their own students and families. In-person attendance is not state-mandated at any grade level, but it’s strongly encouraged for grades K-5 when it can be done safely.

School boards will be required to reexamine and recertify how they are delivering instruction to students at their monthly board meetings for the duration of the 2020-21 school year. Benchmark assessments will provide detailed information to parents and teachers about where a student needs additional help to ensure they stay on track.

The Legislature already has approved a total of $583 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to be dedicated to Michigan schools, including an additional $350 per student across the board, ensuring schools have the resources they need. The funding includes more than $50 million in hazard pay for educators who have been flexible and innovative during the COVID-19 pandemic, and $18 million for safety measures and benchmark assessments to ensure student learning stays on track.

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