State Rep. Graham Filler today helped the Michigan House approve a plan to ensure the safety of Michigan students as learning resumes in the fall.
The House-Senate Return to Learn plan empowers local school districts and health departments to work together to develop health and safety standards that are best for their unique areas.
“Our local schools need to have the flexibility to make the decisions that are best for families in their communities,” said Filler, of DeWitt. “That’s what this plan will deliver.”
Filler believes schools should have the option to begin instruction as quickly and safely as possible. Under the plan, school districts could start whenever is best for them without obtaining a waiver to bypass Michigan’s Labor Day start requirement.
The Return to Learn plan also:
• Redefines the word “attendance” to mean “engaged in instruction” rather than “physically present,” allowing schools to be innovative and give students the opportunity to learn outside the classroom.
• Limits the use of snow days to encourage the use of remote instruction when in-person instruction is unsafe or unsuitable. Moving forward, schools would be granted just two forgiven days of instruction per year.
• Utilizes benchmark assessments to provide detailed information to parents and teachers about where a student needs additional help, ensuring kids do not fall behind in the wake of the public health crisis.
• Requires school districts to work with local health departments to establish safety requirements for extracurricular activities and sports in addition to regular school safety measures.
“Regardless of whether class is held online or in person, we must make sure our schools have the tools they need to deliver a quality education for students,” Filler said. “This plan empowers parents and teachers with flexible learning options to keep kids safe.”
The plan now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
State Rep. Graham Filler today issued the following statement after Gov. Whitmer signed legislation he spearheaded to protect businesses, universities, non-profit organizations and other Michigan job providers from becoming the target of frivolous lawsuits related to COVID-19: