Rep. Phil Green today voted in favor of a back-to-school plan prioritizing health for students and teachers, parental and community involvement in decision-making, and financial stability for districts.
The plan approved by the Legislature is now headed to the governor for consideration.
“Parents should have a voice in how schools educate their kids at all times – including during the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan provides a pathway for parents and the entire community to be involved every step of the way as schools reopen for the new academic year,” said Green, of Millington. “I am pleased to support a plan that emphasizes local control while providing certainty and stable funding for schools.”
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. The plan also includes oversight measures to keep learning on track whether it’s done in-person, online or through a combination of both.
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 – an important requirement to give parents a chance to weigh in regularly. Benchmark assessments will provide detailed information to parents and teachers about where a student needs additional help to ensure they stay on track.
The plan also includes financial support. The Legislature previously 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 also includes $18 million for safety measures and benchmark assessments.
“My colleagues and I have tried to work with the governor to improve the state’s COVID-19 response from the very beginning,” Green said. “We’re still working, and the measures we approved today will help Thumb residents and their families in all sorts of ways.
Two of Rep. Phil Green’s major initiatives to help the Thumb – teacher retention and improved rural broadband – will receive additional resources through a budget plan approved by the Michigan Legislature.