GOP Lawmakers Release Plan For Safe Start Of School

Michigan legislative Republicans have announced their proposal for getting students back in school. State Representative Pauline Wendzel tells WSJM New the House and Senate have jointly worked out a package of legislation called the Return to Learn plan. It allows districts to start whenever is best for them without obtaining a waiver.

“What we’re encouraging right now is for our school districts and our health departments to work together to develop their own health and safety standards that are best for their unique area,” Wendzel said. “Every area is different. It’s going to look different in southwest Michigan than it does in southeast Michigan than it does in the U.P.”

Wendzel says the plan would give schools an $800 per student payment to implement a distance learning plan and health and safety measures. It makes other changes to allow for distance learning.

“It redefines attendance to just mean engaged in instruction rather than physically present. So that includes at-home learning.”

The plan would also give $80 million to intermediate school districts to help schools coordinate and implement distance learning plans and safety measures. Wendzel says parents need to be assured their kids will be educated this year, and that there will be flexibility. The package will be referred to the House Education Committee this week.