Districts face uphill battle this year as deal to secure Michigan school funding gets approved

Students, parents anxious about upcoming school year

DETROIT – A deal to help fund the upcoming school year has passed and is making its way to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.

Even with legislation from Lansing meant to give school districts stability as they move forward with their various education plans, the picture emerging is one in which students will tread water this year, rather than swim ahead.

“We are planning to make sure that students have some level of education, regardless of what the public health issues are and we will change and meet their needs based on what the public health officials tell us to do, whether that’s, we can be in school or we cannot be in school safely, but we are planning every single day to make sure that we can provide the best opportunities that we can for our students,” said Dr. Randy Liepa, Superintendent of Wayne Regional Educational Service Agencies.

Read more: Debate continues over Michigan return-to-school bills

In a climate where Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on much there was bipartisan cross over with Democrats voting for the bills and Republicans voting against them.

“I get the people are frustrated. The simple fact is no matter what we put forward, there’s going to be some people upset. The fact that we have local control valued in this though is a big deal to me. I don’t think that some of the things they oppose in the package are a death knell to education. They may be things they disagree with. But I think we’re putting our best step forward as a state. And we’re allowing school districts to do a virtual or in person, or both,” said Republican Michigan State Representative, Aaron Miller.

For students and parents that means that in a climate where every tenant that has been hard fought to create an aspiration of equity in learning to keep children globally competitive, this year is more about safety and staying a float than being taken out by the tide of COVID-19.

Education in Michigan

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