Legislation emphasizes a safe return to learning for students
State Rep. Roger Hauck, of Union Township, today voted to approve a plan which helps get K-12 students safely back to school this fall.
The legislation will allow school districts to determine the best course of action for their students. This could include online, in person or hybrid instruction based on consultations with local health departments.
“The flexibility this plan offers will allow local officials to decide what’s best for their kids,” Hauck said. “For some areas of the state, it doesn’t make sense to have in-person learning and remote learning should still continue to keep kids safe. For other areas of the state that have not been impacted as severely by COVID-19, in-person education could be given the green light. But we need to have that local element in place because they will know their districts and the facts on the ground better than a centralized approach in Lansing.
“This is a safe and sensible way forward that promotes learning for our kids.”
Parents will have a vital say in the process and school boards will be required to reexamine and recertify instruction plans at 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. Younger students are a key component as they tend to have more success within a classroom setting. If districts determine 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 pose significant additional costs to school districts as they work to impose new safety standards and innovative teaching methods, Hauck and 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.
The education restart plan now advances to the governor’s desk for consideration.
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