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Rep. Bellino: Bipartisan education restart agreement signed into law
RELEASE|August 21, 2020

State Rep. Joe Bellino, of Monroe, announced the governor this week signed the bipartisan agreement to get K-12 students safely back to school this fall.

The plan will allow school districts to determine the best course of action for their students, be it online, in person, or hybrid instruction, based on consultations with local health departments.

“This bipartisan plan emphasizes local control and provides necessary flexibility for our teachers and administrators at schools in Wayne and Monroe counties and across Michigan, ” Bellino said. “We simply can’t let COVID-19 take our children’s education away from them. We’ve all learned a lot since March and now know how to best slow the spread of COVID-19 –  I’m confident this plan is the right call moving forward for families throughout Michigan.”

Bellino also said providing parents with the opportunity to voice their concerns is crucial to keep the school district and community informed of needed adaptations and hold locally elected officials accountable. Under the plan, 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.

Additionally, local benchmark assessments will provide detailed information to parents and teachers about where a student needs additional help to ensure they stay on track.

Bellino also acknowledged that younger students tend to learn better in classroom settings. Under the plan, if districts determine that it is safe to offer in-person learning, they are encouraged, but not required, to prioritize in-person instruction to K-5 students.

As the coming school year will also pose significant additional costs to school districts as they work to impose new safety standards and innovative teaching methods, the Legislature previously dedicated a total of $583 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to Michigan schools, including:

  • $350 per student across the board, ensuring schools have the resources they need to educate children.
  • More than $50 million in hazard pay for educators who have been flexible and innovative in the face of unprecedented change.
  • $18 million for safety measures and local benchmark assessments to ensure kids stay on track with learning.
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