LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A key education player is afraid that the political stalemate between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and State Senate leader Mike Shirkey could end up with federal COVID aid for schools going unused. 6 News’ Tim Skubick has the latest.
“We are absolutely still at a stalemate,” said Robert McCann of the K-12 alliance.
The State’s education lobby is asking school superintendents to call their local lawmakers and turn up the heat to free millions of federal COVID dollars for every school in the state.
Money that can go towards vaccinating teachers, funding social distance learning and money for tutoring/summer school.
But there’s a disconnect between the Democratic governor and the Republican senate leader.
McCann says that this disagreement could be enough to scuttle all the funding.
There is also infighting within the GOP, as budget chairs Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Thomas Albert are not on the same page regarding the budget bill.
Neither of these Republicans have met with the Governor’s budget director Dave Massaron, who wants to bargain.
He says they’re ignoring him.
Republicans say they’re waiting for Governor Whitmer to open up the economy before the dollars can be used. Democrats are accusing the GOP of holding vital school funding hostage.
Legislative republicans argue the Governor has abused her powers.
Earlier this month, Governor Whitmer unveiled a $57 million budget that would boost school funding by $14 million, or around $162 extra per student ($244 for disadvantaged schools.)