About 60 percent of Michigan’s public school students are required to wear face coverings to curb COVID. Though the rest are encouraged to wear masks, most students in these schools don’t, district leaders and parents say.
Fewer K-12 students will likely have to stay home from school because of exposure to COVID under new recommendations from the state health department. But local schools and health departments will have the final say on safety rules this year.
African-American and low-income third-graders were far more likely to be flagged for possible retention due to low reading test scores than their white or non-poor classmates. How many students are actually being held back remains unclear.
Schools tried a bit of everything to keep students safe last year. Some of those efforts are being pared back now as schools and health officials learn more about what appears to help reduce COVID, and what doesn’t.
Parents against mask mandates in schools have grabbed most of the attention in school board meetings and protests. Now, parents who favor mask mandates to protect against COVID’s spread are organizing.
With no state mandate, local Michigan superintendents are being forced to make tough decisions on whether to require face masks to protect against COVID this fall. The debate is dividing communities like Eaton Rapids.