Bipartisan Return to Learn Package Signed Into Law

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today signed a bipartisan Return to Learn bill package of House Bills 5911, 5912, and 5913, which she and legislative leaders agreed on last week. This package allows for flexibility on instructional requirements for the upcoming school year. Further, the deal offers districts financial stability by using last school year’s pupil count to determine funding levels for the 2020-21 year.

Key components of the deal include:

  • There is no in-person mandate, though districts have the option to decide to do so.
  • Additional funding includes $50 million in hazard pay for teachers.
  • Funding requirements entail:
    • Attendance-based school funding formula will require at least one two-way interaction monthly for at least 75% of students in order for districts to receive full state school funding.
    • The requirement to have 180 days or 1,098 hours of school for the 2020-21 year is waived.
    • Student assessments will be administered within nine weeks of the first day of school with a second conducted by the end of the year.
  • School boards will reevaluate their in-person or virtual plans monthly.
  • Districts will establish student “education goals” by Sept. 15 and publish “extended COVID-19 learning plans” by Oct. 1.
  • Districts are required to explain how students with disabilities will be given equitable access to instruction accommodations and how they will ensure access to technology and connectivity in cases of virtual instruction.

View a full summary of the package.

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