With just a week or two before school starts, the “Return to Learn” bill has been signed into law. The law addresses the challenges facing districts in the 20-21 school year and was drafted in the Michigan House of Representatives in a bipartisan effort.
Last year’s pupil count will now determine the funding levels for this year. With uncertainty as to what days kids will be in school and differences between districts, this takes away the stress of “count days” that are tied to funding.
$65 million in federal funding is being allocated to increase internet connectivity, promote student mental health, address learning loss, and other supports.
The bill also gives flexibility to schools as to instructional days and hours, and asks districts to develop their own plans to meet the needs of students while adapting to COVID-19 mitigation protocols. The law mandates reporting on how districts will instruct in core subject areas and how they will address accommodations for students with disabilities. The law requires two-way communication and grading for all types of education, whether in-person or remote. School should look quite a bit different than it did last spring with the passage of the bills.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland