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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Black Leadership Advisory Council Hosted an Education Virtual Town Hall

State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice joined BLAC council members and a virtual audience of educators, parents and students discussing recommendations that will support Black students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 20, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Ebony Stith, 517-285-4549

LANSING, Mich. ­- In July, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the largest School Aid budget in state history to eliminate the funding gaps between school districts. The Black Leadership Advisory Council (BLAC) hosted an Education Virtual Town Hall Wednesday, Aug. 18 discussing how this historic school budget will affect Black K-12 students for the upcoming school year and beyond. You can view the recording of the Education Virtual Town Hall here.

"During the education town hall, we focused on the needs of Black students and educators as they are heading back to school in the fall and breaking down barriers many Black students have faced from the lack of funding in their school district," said BLAC Education Committee Chair Terrence D. Martin. "Closing the educational gap and coming up with solutions is critical to ensure Black students have the opportunity to strive for excellence."

Educators, parents, students and community members were encouraged to join the town hall engaging in an open conversation about educational needs for the upcoming school year, how inequity has affected Black children and possible education recommendations for the governor's approval. The town hall also investigated steps the State can take to address these issues and looked at resources and programs that are available to assist families.

State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice joined BLAC council members and a virtual audience of educators, parents and students discussing recommendations that will support Black students.

"We need proper resources to help all children succeed, and all means all, including children who have often been marginalized in our schools, including but not limited to our economically disadvantaged students and our children of color," said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. "The good news is that the recent budget agreement, approved by the state legislature and signed into law by the governor, is the best budget for public schools in our history. The budget is particularly noteworthy in its support of expansion of Great Start Readiness Program pre-school to all eligible four-year-old children over the next three years, the first goal of the State Board of Education-approved Top 10 state strategic education plan."  "The challenge," Rice noted, "is to continue to improve the adequacy and equity of school funding, to provide local school districts with the recurring resources needed to fully educate all children."

BLAC has been charged with identifying barriers in the Black community in education, community safety, health and business leadership in Michigan. To learn more about BLAC and this upcoming event, visit www.michigan.gov/BLAC.