State. Rep. Daire Rendon and her colleagues in the Michigan House today approved a plan to ensure the safety of Michigan students as learning resumes in the fall.
The Legislature’s plan empowers local school districts and health departments to work together to develop health and safety standards that are best for their unique areas.
“The coronavirus health crisis has affected our state’s many regions in different ways, so it makes sense our schools will look quite different in Northern Michigan than they will in places like the metro Detroit area,” Rendon said. “We must allow our school districts to have flexibility as we move forward so they are able to begin instruction as quickly and safely as possible. Our kids needs us to step up right now to find solutions that will benefit each and every one of them – let’s not let these students down.”
Under the plan, school districts could start whenever is best for them without obtaining a waiver to bypass Michigan’s Labor Day start requirement.
The Return to Learn plan also:
• Redefines the word “attendance” to mean “engaged in instruction” rather than “physically present,” allowing schools to be innovative and give students the opportunity to learn outside the classroom.
• Limits the use of snow days to encourage the use of remote instruction when in-person instruction is unsafe or unsuitable. Moving forward, schools would be granted just two forgiven days of instruction per year.
• Utilizes benchmark assessments to provide detailed information to parents and teachers about where a student needs additional help, ensuring kids do not fall behind in the wake of the public health crisis.
• Requires school districts to work with local health departments to establish safety requirements for extracurricular activities and sports in addition to regular school safety measures.
The plan now moves to be considered by the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee.
“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.
“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.”