Michigan state lawmakers, primarily the Republicans who control both the State House and State Senate, are mulling over concerns voiced by four state education associations. The group’s leaders are telling lawmakers either they work out a deal with the Governor to facilitate the reopening of Michigan’s public schools, or they’ll tell the Governor to do it on her own. Both House and Senate were planning to deal with those issues last week. But then everyone was sent home. That happened after a State Senator got a positive virus test result. State Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of July. The senator had been in contact with many legislators in the week prior.

Time is running out on schools. They’re are required to have a reopening plan set up by this Saturday the 15th and submitted to the state. School administrators and board members alike point out its hard for them to do that when they still don’t know if they’ll be required by the state to offer the option of normal in-person class settings. Then there’s the thorny issue of school funding if most, or all students are forced to stay home as schools reopen. Face-to-face instruction is a current provision in one of the Republican-sponsored bills. There remains uncertainty about how schools will be funded if students are homebound this fall like they were this spring. A letter outlining educators' concerns to state legislative leaders clearly states the issue. it reads in part, “Planning for the fall is already difficult enough in these unprecedented times, but without a budget nor any clear idea of how many pupils will be enrolled sets school districts up for failure.”

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