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Legislative Leaders Release Education Plan, Governor’s Expected Next Week

June 23, 2020
The conversations about restarting K-12 education this fall are picking up.

Today, the Michigan House and Senate released a high-level overview of what their “Return to Learn” plan would look like, a week before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Return to Learning Advisory Council is expected to release its own version.

According to a one-page overview, the plan includes $1.3 billion of COVID-related federal funding to support schools reopening this fall. The plan provides:

  • $800 per pupil to K-12 schools to implement robust distance learning plans and health and safety measures as kids return to classrooms.
  • $500 one-time payment to “frontline” teachers.
  • $80 million to intermediate school districts to assist schools in coordinating and implementing safe learning measures and distance learning plans.

Beyond funding, some of the possible implementation strategies or legislative changes it would support include:

  • Redefining “attendance”: Appears to preview redefining “attendance” to mean “engaged in instruction” rather than “physically present” at schools to provide flexibility for remote instruction.
  • Mandatory K-5 In-person education: Required in-person instruction for K-5 students while requiring “learning to continue in the same scope and sequence as in-person education.”
  • Calendar flexibility and fewer snow days: Schools could begin their school year at their discretion and would not have to seek a waiver for Michigan’s Labor Day requirement. It would also limit forgiven snow days to two, which would apparently mean switching to remote instruction on poor winter weather days to meet day and hour requirements.
  • Working with local health departments: Schools would be required to work with local health departments to establish protocols for school and restarting extracurricular activities.

The House GOP website has more information: