Gov. Whitmer hosts round table with educators to discuss strategies to get students back on track

Governor Gretchen Whitmer hosted a round table Tuesday with St. Clair Shores educators, discussing getting students back on track after the pandemic.

The round table included Lake Shores Public Schools teachers, support staff, administrators and a student.

“Every time I sit down with a group of educators, I learn something,” Whitmer said. “Whether it is understanding the way that the stress of the last couple years has manifested in student behavior and what the strategies are to address it and help our kids get back to learning.”

Social emotional health and the teacher shortage were the top talking points among the panel.

The conversation comes as Whitmer rolls out a 300 million dollar investment to expand tutoring to help students across the state.

But are there enough teachers and tutors to fill that need?

“As I think about this budget and putting more resources in, what does it look like in terms of your vacancies currently and your ability to draw more people in whether it’s for tutoring or its in social work?” Whitmer asked to the panel.

Dr. Joe DiPonio said there are currently 15 applicants for an elementary school teacher position. He said a few years ago, there would’ve been 100 applicants for that same opening.

Whitmer brainstormed ways to curb the shortage.

“What we can do to lure more people to going into education, treating it like the profession that it is, making sure they can get compensated as a profession,” she said.

About the Author:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.