DashBoard, Aug. 5, 2020

Over the past few weeks, we’ve held webinars with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her staff and with State Superintendent Michael Rice, Ph.D. regarding the Return to School Roadmap and Executive Order 2020-142. While the discussions shed light on many issues, there were still more questions that arose.

School districts in Michigan can compete for additional federal funding from a Michigan Department of Education-created education equity fund to help address the digital divide and to provide mental health services and supports for students and staff, the department announced yesterday.

The Michigan Association of School Boards is excited to announce that Charis Lee, Esq. joined our staff on July 27, 2020 in the Labor Relations and Legal Services Department.

Last week, U.S. Senate Republicans unveiled a new COVID-19 pandemic response plan called the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools). The proposed legislation includes $105 billion in new education spending, including approximately $70 billion for K-12 education. The funds would be available through Sept. 30, 2021.

DashBoard, Aug. 19, 2020

Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that she will allocate nearly $65 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act dollars to Michigan school districts, higher education institutions and other education-related entities that have been most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes schools in Michigan’s economically disadvantaged districts, and will help address the digital divide that has served as a barrier to remote learning for students and educators across the state. The funding comes from the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Convenient isn’t a term that readily comes to mind to explain any aspect of 2020, but I do think it fits when describing access to board and professional development in a virtual environment. And it also provides adults with some insight on what our students are experiencing as a number of our districts are heading back to school online.

Monday was the House’s turn to debate House Bills 5911-5913 reflecting the agreement that was reached by the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Executive Office late Friday afternoon.

The State Board of Education gave its approval to a revised strategic plan for Michigan to become a top 10 education state in the nation at its meeting last Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.