Plan waives school days, ensures workers are fully compensated
State Rep. Brad Paquette, of Niles, today announced the Legislature has reached a bipartisan agreement with the governor regarding education response in the wake of school closures brought on by coronavirus.
The agreement closes all public and private school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year unless they are later deemed safe. It also forgives 15 days of instruction beyond the nine snow days currently allowed under state law. School districts are required to use resources from days that have been waived to ensure all hourly and contracted employees are fully compensated.
“It’s unfortunate, but school closures were ultimately necessary,” said Paquette, a former teacher. “Now it’s incumbent on us to ensure students receive the best education they can at home during this difficult time. The silver lining in this crisis could be a new focus on 21st Century infrastructure such as rural broadband to assuage internet needs for e-learning and innovative methods of instruction.”
To allow for home-learning options, school districts are granted a waiver from requiring students to be physically in their school buildings. Education plans should try to address the needs of all students including special education and students who lack access to technology.
Paquette also said school districts will be allowed to begin the 2020-2021 school year in August, prior to the Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday, to make up for learning loss that has resulted from the time out of school this year.
A group of Republican lawmakers this week introduced a plan protecting Michigan residents and job providers from excessive penalties for non-compliance with rules implemented unilaterally by the governor.
State Rep. Brad Paquette, of Niles, and State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, of Detroit, delivered testimony Tuesday before the state House Education Committee on a bipartisan package of bills to give Michigan educators a voice in state policy decisions that directly affect local schools.
Speaking during his tele town hall meeting with area residents this weekend, Rep. Paquette say his chief job in the community the past few weeks has been listening and getting voices heard.