National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle visited Warner Middle School in Farmington Hills last week to talk about how state and federal funds have ensured a smooth transition back to in-person learning across the state.
Pringle met with Michigan Education Association (MEA) President Paula Herbart, and Farmington Public Schools (FPS) educators, school administrators, and students.
“COVID rescue funds from the state and federal government are an opportunity to show communities what is possible when Michigan invests in students and their schools,” Pringle said. “Students still need help recovering from the pandemic—academically, socially and emotionally. President Herbart and I agree that relief funds must be used for supports that will help students succeed, solving Michigan’s educator shortage, and ensuring that schools are always the safest place in any community.”
In February of 2021, Governor Gretchen Whitmer created Michigan’s Student Recovery Advisory Council, which has released a blueprint that districts can use to create their own comprehensive recovery plan that is multiyear, evidence-based, and equity-driven.
The Blueprint provides data-informed recommendations to address challenges across wellness, academics, school culture and climate, family and community engagement and post-secondary education. MI Blueprint for Comprehensive Student Recovery also provides specific recommendations for state-level policymakers to speed up student recovery now and lay the foundation for significant systems change in the future.
“Our successful return to in person learning would not be possible without the Blueprint, commissioned by Gov. Whitmer and based on input from frontline educators,” said Herbart, who served on the council. “As we help students recover from the pandemic, the Blueprint provides actionable tools to foster student success–and our schools now have the funding needed to make those ideas a reality.”
“It has been an honor to host the NEA and MEA Presidents at Warner Middle School,” FPS Superintendent Dr. Christopher J. Delgado said. “It was exciting to hear our students and staff share their stories about rebounding from the pandemic. We are appreciative of the advocacy of these leaders in drawing attention to the financial resources our schools need in order to keep students and staff safely learning and teaching.”
In July of this year, Governor Whitmer signed the School Aid budget. A budget which includes $723 million to eliminate the gap between the minimum and maximum foundation allowance by setting both at $8,700 per pupil, an increase of $589 per pupil from the current year minimum amount and an increase of $171 per pupil from the current year target amount. In addition, intermediate school districts receive a 4 percent operational funding increase.