Questions linger ahead of start of school year in Michigan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to hold news briefing

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is holding a briefing on Friday at 11 a.m. to update the state’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The briefing comes after the state reported 1,121 new COVID-19 cases and 16 additional deaths. That’s the biggest increase in cases in nearly three months.

WATCH: Education Town Hall on return-to-school plans

In Washington D.C. it appears there will be no agreement anytime soon on the next COVID-19 stimulus package. On Thursday, the Senate officially adjourned through Labor Day.

For the first time since March, new claims for unemployment benefits dipped below 1 million, with more than 15 million Americans still collecting benefits. That’s down from 25 million back in May.

With the start of the school year fast approaching, there are lingering questions about how it all will work. The Michigan Senate has scheduled a rare Saturday session to pass a bill package to address the start of the school year.

READ: Michigan Senate calls rare Saturday session to debate forcing school districts to offer in-person option

In addition to hashing out funding, one of the other topics for discussion is whether to mandate districts provide an in person option to parents who want it.

Under Whitmer’s current COVID-19 plan, it’s up to individual school districts to decide its fall academic plan and some districts are opting for a hybrid approach.

READ: Here’s what Michigan school districts have planned for the fall amid the pandemic

Ann Arbor has opted for all remote and the city of Detroit has already had students in class in person for summer school and will continue in person learning going forward depending on the spread of COVID-19 in Detroit.

The Senate will also discuss the issue of the funding mechanism for schools, which has always relied on in person, in seat attendance.

READ: More return to school coverage

About the Authors: