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Governor signs Glenn back-to-school safety bill
RELEASE|August 21, 2020
Contact: Annette Glenn

Whitmer: “I am proud of this bipartisan package and will continue working with everyone who wants to ensure our schools are safe during COVID-19.”

Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, a member of the House Appropriations K-12 School Aid Subcommittee, Thursday applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signing into law a bipartisan package of “Return to Learn” legislation that includes Glenn’s bill to ensure local public schools continue to receive their state per-pupil funding regardless of whether parents choose to enroll their children for in-person learning in the classroom or for remote instruction online.

“I appreciate Gov. Whitmer’s signing of this bipartisan safe schools package, which makes student health and safety our highest priority while ensuring they’re not missing out on the quality education every child deserves,” Glenn said. “My legislation in particular ensures that schools in Bay and Midland counties will have local control –  in consultation with local public health experts –  to do what’s best for students in each of our communities while continuing to receive the same state funding whether students are sitting in a classroom or learning online.”

“As both a lawmaker and grandmother of school-aged children, coming up with a safe and practical plan to ensure students can safely return to learning this fall has been one of my top priorities in Lansing,” Glenn said.

The legislative package, which Glenn helped craft and lead to bipartisan support in both the state House and Senate, allows each individual school district to determine the best means of educating its students – online, in person, or a combination of the two – based on mandatory consultation with local public health departments.

Glenn’s House Bill 5913, a lead element of the plan, redefines the word “attendance” for purposes of allocating state per-pupil funding to mean “engaged in instruction” rather than “physically present” in the classroom, allowing schools to innovate and offer students a wide array of options for learning both in the classroom and online.

“I am proud of this bipartisan package and will continue working with everyone who wants to ensure our schools are safe during COVID-19,” Whitmer said Thursday upon signing Glenn’s legislation and two other bills in the package.

Glenn noted that since this school year will impose significant additional costs to local school districts as they implement new safety standards and innovative teaching methods, the Legislature has dedicated a total of $583 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to Michigan schools, including:

  • $350 per student across the board, ensuring schools have the resources they need to educate children.
  • More than $50 million in hazard pay for educators.
  • $18 million for safety measures and local benchmark assessments to ensure students stay on track with learning.

Glenn said communities in Bay and Midland counties will finally have certainty as to how the new school year will proceed.

“Parents, educators, school administrators, and students have waited patiently,” Glenn said. “Now, we can finally move forward with this bipartisan, common-sense safe schools plan. I wish all students, teachers, and support staff in Bay and Midland counties a great start to their academic year, and as always, my office is always available for any student, parent, teacher, administrator, or school board member who has any questions or would like to express any concerns.”

Glenn can be contacted via email at AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov or by phone at 517-373-1791.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer poses for a picture with State Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland.
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