Gov. Whitmer, legislative leaders reach bipartisan deal ahead of new school year

Joint statement released

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders have reached a bipartisan deal regarding the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

The agreement comes one day before a rare Saturday session meant to tackle the debate centered around forcing school districts to offer an in-person option.

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

Read the full statement below:

“Today, we reached a bipartisan deal that will give students, parents, educators, and support staff much needed support, flexibility, and certainty as we approach the new school year. They deserve peace of mind about what the next few months will hold in store, and this legislation will provide it.”

The joint statement was released by Whitmer, Sen. Mike Shirkey, Sen. Jim Ananich, Rep. Lee Chatfield, and Rep. Christine Greig.

READ: More return to school coverage

State Rep. Pamela Hornberger, chair of the House Education Committee, said the plan will allow school districts to determine the best course of action for their students.

“Our local health departments are equipped with experts who know what’s best for the kids in each unique community across Michigan,” Hornberger said. “As a mother and a former teacher, I want what’s best for our students. This plan accomplishes my two priorities: keeping kids safe and continuing to advance their education no matter the mode of instruction. I’m pleased we were able to come to this solution with the governor.”

She also said that the Legislature approved a total of $583 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to be dedicated to Michigan schools.

The House plans to vote on Monday to advance the plan.

READ: More coronavirus coverage

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