Michigan House sends school plan to governor

Posted Aug 17, 2020

Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, Monday welcomed the state House of Representatives’ approval of a bipartisan plan to get K-12 students safely back to school this fall, whether in person or online.

The plan, which Glenn helped spearhead, will allow school districts to determine the best course of action for their students – online, in person, or a hybrid of the two – based on consultations with local health departments.

Glenn’s House Bill 5913, a key element of the plan, specifically redefines the word “attendance” for purposes of allocating state per-pupil funding to local schools to mean “engaged in instruction” rather than “physically present” in the classroom, allowing schools to innovate and offer students a wide array of options for learning both in the classroom and online.https://2ea1cdcf01ba24cebdee20e33362a29a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

“The safety, health, and wellbeing of both students and teachers is our highest priority, which is why I worked with both sides of the aisle to come up with a plan that ensures our students receive the safe, quality education they deserve, allowing school administrators in Auburn, Midland, Pinconning, and Sanford the flexibility to decide what system works best for their individual communities,” Glenn stated in a news release. “With school right around the corner, I’m extremely pleased we have a plan that legislators and the governor agree will get students safely back to school and keep them on track with their learning.”

Glenn noted that since this school year will impose significant additional costs to local school districts as they work to implement new safety standards and innovative teaching methods, the Legislature has 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 to be flexible and innovative in the face of unprecedented changes.

• $18 million for safety measures and local benchmark assessments to ensure students stay on track with learning.

The House schools plan, already approved by the state Senate on Saturday with bipartisan support, now advances to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has already indicated she will sign Glenn’s bill and the rest of the legislative package into law.