LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Many parents wondered why Governor Gretchen Whitmer waited for weeks to make the decision to close schools for the rest of the year. She says it was not an easy decision to make and it involved talking to many different groups around the state to make sure that the students were taken care of.
School buildings will stay closed and empty, but Whitmer says this won’t stop students from getting a good education.
“This doesn’t mean our kids will stop learning,” she says. “Each district must develop an alternative learning plan for students to continue their education during this time. Plans will be different based on district.”
All faculty and staff will be paid for the remainder of the year. Students will continue their online work for the next few months. Some could learn over the phone or by mail, depending on their district’s plan. Whitmer says students and families won’t be punished if they don’t have the resources to do it.
“Districts must make sure that their plans are appropriate and accessible for families in their schools. If the plan relies on some online instruction, the district should ensure that every student has access to an appropriate device with an ability to connect to the internet.”
The goal for now is to allow the class of 2020 to graduate on time and for all other students to move to the next level. Whitmer says it’s not the easiest plan, but she believes it’s what’s right for Michigan.
“This is the best thing that we can do for the health of our children, for the tens of thousands of educators in Michigan who work in our schools.”
With just a few months left in the school year, Whitmer says the priority now is to make sure no student is penalized as a result of COVID-19.