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GOP Plan Calls For More Money For Back-To-School Plans

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Republicans in the Legislature rolled out their plans Tuesday for students to return to school in the fall. 

There would have to be some amount of in-person instruction for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade, but there would also be more flexibility when it comes to rules for classroom time.

It’s not clear where much of the money would come from. 

Representative Pamela Hornberger is a Republican who chairs the House Education Committee. She says the plan relies heavily on federal dollars to get schools through this year. 

“This stability will give us time to assess the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on Michigan’s budget and the School Aid Fund, and it gives us time to plan future K-12 funding,” Hornberger said. 

Michigan’s School Aid Fund faces an expected deficit of $1.3 billion this year, and a similar amount in the coming fiscal year. School officials say it will likely take another billion dollars to make schools safe for students to return.

Peter Spadafore is with the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators. He said the Republican plan is a step in the right direction. 

“Cautiously optimistic that there’s recognition of the added costs, but remain curious as to how we fully fund those promises,” said Spadafore.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is supposed to unveil her back-to-school plan next week.

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