The U.S. is requiring standardized tests this year amid COVID. Ordinarily, that would mean the statewide M-STEP, but state Superintendent Michael Rice wants districts to choose among assessments, leaving the issue in limbo.
With billions at stake, Michigan school groups are pushing to have the COVID relief formula changed to shrink the funding advantage being given to poor districts under federal relief bills. Some impoverished districts would get 100 times more funds under the U.S. formula.
Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Lansing have yet to decide whether to reopen to in-person classes, despite declining COVID-19 cases and the urging of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that schools find ways to safely reopen.
Nearly two-thirds of Michigan teachers have received at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine or are set to get it, according to a survey by the state’s largest teachers union, spurring more districts to make plans to reopen.
GVSU is following some Michigan universities by offering savings to students in six Michigan counties. The program covers tuition and class fees, but not other attendance expenses that can still prove steep for some families.
Many residents in northern, rural and more low-income regions do not qualify for free tuition because they’re not in “community college districts.” The state can close the gap with another $7.5 million.
More than 120,000 essential workers signed up for free community college tuition through the Futures for Frontliners program. The state expects to launch a similar program soon for the roughly 3 million Michigan adults over age 25 who lack a college degree.
The pandemic likely will increase achievement gaps. Michigan education advocates say schools need to start planning now for how to help struggling students, including more money for tutoring and summer school, priorities that align with the incoming Biden administration.
Ten months after she ordered all schools to close to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the governor said it’s time to plan for reopening classes. Recent studies show schools can remain safe with certain precautions, while there can be a heavy price for keeping children isolated.
Owen Bondono’s language arts classes were supposed to focus on text structures Thursday, but there was no way the Oak Park teacher was going to ignore the insurrection that took place in the nation’s capital the day before.