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Rep. Huizenga votes to send Legislature’s education restart plan to governor
RELEASE|August 17, 2020
Contact: Mark Huizenga

State Rep. Mark Huizenga, of Walker, 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.

“We can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach for educating Michigan’s children this fall,” Huizenga said. “We cannot look at areas of West Michigan and northern Michigan and say you must operate under the same parameters as counties which have experienced a high number of COVID-19 cases. This is a safe and sensible plan that offers flexibility and local input so that our communities can put in place the best course of action for students.”

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, Huizenga 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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