Skubick: Whitmer, legislative leaders focus on school year

Michigan

The governor’s order to end the school year now was not issued today as the two Republican leaders are conferring with the governor on some concerns they have about students going six months without any seat time inside a classroom.  

For weeks the governor has been promising a decision on when and if the schools will re-open.

Published reports this week suggested the governor was now ready to shut the schools down for the rest of the year, but that executive order appears to be on hold for the moment.

The two Republican legislative leaders are reportedly talking with the governor about some changes to the blanket decision to just close the schools for the next six months.

The Senate Republican leader Mike Shirkey and House Republican speaker Lee Chatfield are suggesting that if the coronavirus numbers have improved by this summer, then kids should go back to school then.

The Republicans don’t want the students to go six months without any kind of seat time in the empty classrooms. And they are talking about filling the classrooms in June, July and or August.

Part of the argument is, if teachers and staff are going to be paid, as the governor suggests, why not put them back in the classroom.

Of course you can hear the howls from the tourism industry which is loathe to have students in school during the summer when they could be with their parents doing fun stuff and spending lots of tourism dollars.

Some will also argue many schools don’t have air conditioning which makes it tough on those students. Others have suggested you could remedy that by having school for half a day.

Can the big three iron out a modified school closing strategy?

Parents and students all over the state are waiting to see if they can.

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