Survey Highlights MI Educators’ Concerns For Next School Year
Michigan’s largest teachers’ union says its members are greatly concerned about health and safety issues as they prepare for the start of the next school year.
The Michigan Education Association surveyed more than 15,000 educators about resuming in-person instruction.
The responses overwhelmingly support keeping schools closed until public health officials deem it safe to return.
MEA spokesman Doug Pratt says regardless of how instruction begins in the fall, teachers say they don’t feel equipped to handle their students’ emotional needs.
“Many of these students will have lost family members,” notes Pratt. “They will have been away from friends. They will have been dealing with something that none of us have dealt with in our lifetime.”
Many of these students will have lost family members.
Most teachers also believe smaller class sizes will be key to ensuring social distancing.
The MEA says its findings will be shared with the Governor’s Return To School Advisory Council.
MI Educators Plot Uncertain Course Towards New School Year
The Michigan Department of Education is bracing for unprecedented funding cuts as the coronavirus pandemic continues to strain the state’s economy.
State Superintendent Michael Rice says School Aid Fund revenue is expected to drop by more than $2 billion this year and next.
He says that would top even the 2011 per pupil funding cut…the largest in Michigan history.
Rice says its imperative to fill the gap with federal dollars.
“What superintendents, local school board members, local community members need to do is lobby Congress in order to get more funding,” Rice says. “If we push for more funding, we’re likely to get more funding. If we don’t, we’re likely not.”
School districts must submit their 2021 budget plans by June 30.
In the meantime, educators are pushing the U.S. Senate to pass the HEROES Act, a massive stimulus package that would provide $175 billion for public education.