State Rep. Daire Rendon announced the governor this week signed the bipartisan plan that will help K-12 students resume education safely this fall.
The plan empowers local school districts by allowing them 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 must not let the coronavirus pandemic steal away our children’s education,” Rendon said. “A lot has changed since March – we all have a better understanding of what COVID-19 is and how to slow the spread. As we embrace the new year, I am glad this plan is now finalized for our communities. This is the most practical, well-thought out way to get our kids back to school, whether that be in the classroom or virtually.”
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.
Rendon also announced the governor will allocate nearly $65 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to Michigan school districts, higher education institutions, and other education-related entities that have been most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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, Rendon 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.
“There’s no doubt the start of this school year will look quite different from years past,” Rendon said. “With that said, we are still moving forward, and our kids will remain on track. I’m proud to represent so many amazing residents in Northern Michigan and wish you all a fantastic start to the 2020-21 school year.”
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“The Legislature and governor must work together for the people of Michigan as we continue to fight through this pandemic,” Rendon said. “Our families deserve much better results than they’ve received and full transparency. The measures approved by the House are a strong step toward the continued safe, practical reopening of Northern Michigan and the entire state.”
State Rep. Daire Rendon this week joined the Michigan House of Representatives in approving its bipartisan plan that won’t raise taxes for the state’s Fiscal Year 2021 K-12 budget.