DashBoard, May 13, 2020

Since our last newsletter on April 29, 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the state of emergency and the Stay Home, Stay Safe order until May 28, 2020. But in extending the Stay Home order, she also lifted a few more restrictions and laid out her plan for reopening the state. Following the extension of the state of emergency, she also reissued a few other orders affecting schools.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently rescinded Executive Order No. 2020-35 by issuing Executive Order No. 2020-65. EO 2020-65 is essentially the same order as rescinded EO 2020-35, but it identifies additional sections from the Revised School Code, School Aid Act and other laws that are suspended and waived for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. EO 2020-65 also provides clarification on requirements for early childhood services and providing year-end performance evaluations under the Teachers’ Tenure Act.

The State Board of Education adopted a resolution urging Michigan’s Legislature and Congressional delegation to support—actively, individually and collectively—any bill to preserve educational services to Michigan schoolchildren that have been threatened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Building Healthy Communities program is a school-based initiative that supports children’s health by providing students, teachers and administrators with tools to create a healthier school environment focused on improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and addressing mental health and well-being while empowering children to make healthy choices.

VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.

DashBoard, May 27, 2020

I’m writing this from my faux home office (also known as my kitchen table), where I’m self-quarantining and social distancing. As someone who doesn’t stay still for long, this has been challenging, but I’m happy to be doing my part for our local, state and global communities during this historic time. As I was searching for creative ways to help more, I remembered that through my work with MASB, I’m actually contributing to the greater good through a ripple effect. My small actions and day-to-day work reach beyond my kitchen table to help school boards provide access for students across the state to a public education.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Michigan’s economy has struggled significantly, leading to budget shortfalls. Recent projections have shown state revenue to be down by more than $3 billion than earlier anticipated for the current fiscal year. The School Aid Fund is down more than $1 billion for the current fiscal year and another $1 billion for 2020-2021. There is tremendous pressure on the State Legislature to make deep cuts that will lead to pressure on local and intermediate school boards.

While interviewing Michigan public school districts for the learning from a distance article that is in the Spring 2020 LeaderBoard issue, they shared information on a variety of topics. One that I found particularly interesting was whether they would offer a credit/no credit option or continue with letter grading for their students.