Numerous Michigan lawmakers voiced their support for in-person learning, following school districts across the state moving to virtual learning.
The Republican legislators pointed to the harmful social impacts and decreased academic scores for children in the state.
“The pandemic threw students off their educational course, and we need to do everything possible to help them bounce back and succeed. In-person classes are such an important element of learning for many students. We can’t ignore COVID-19 — which is why I recently supported more resources for treatments and tests — but our local schools need to stay open to serve Michigan young people,” said State Rep. Ken Borton (R-Gaylord).
On the other hand, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has remained silent on the decision that forced approximately 100,000 Michigan students to learn from their computer screen and gain no social interaction with their peers.
Critics of Whitmer have pointed to her cozy relationship with teachers’ unions as inspiration for her silence.
”Throughout this pandemic, children have been subjected to the harshest restrictions, despite being the lowest-risk demographic. The inconsistency goes against everything we know works in education. Kids need the foundation of a consistent schedule to reach their full potential socially, emotionally, and academically,” said State Senator Lana Theis (R-Brighton).
“This is something we can all agree on — the education of our children should be put first. While the governor and the Michigan Department of Education continue to put unions first, I strongly encourage local school boards to stand up and do the right thing: Keep our kids in school.”
Last year, Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have created Education Savings Accounts, which would have allowed parents to spend the funds on tutors, transportation, textbooks, and mental and physical health needs.
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