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State Board of Education Meeting Postponed

LANSING – The October 13, 2020 monthly meeting of the State Board of Education is being postponed until November due to a lack of clarity about whether public bodies continue to be allowed to hold virtual meetings, the Michigan Department of Education announced today.


A Michigan Supreme Court decision last week determined that Governor Gretchen Whitmer did not have the authority to continue declaring states of emergency and nullified her executive orders therewith, including an order allowing public bodies to meet virtually.


Governor Whitmer has asked the court to clarify whether its ruling took effect immediately, or as she contends at the end of October. The Supreme Court has yet to respond to Whitmer’s request.


“Since there is currently a lack of clarity about whether virtual meetings are still allowed at this time, the October meeting of the state board is being postponed until November,” said State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra Ulbrich. 


State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice noted that, to protect public health and safety, an emergency epidemic order was issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and puts limits on the number of people in indoor gatherings. These limits call into question the ability to hold a public meeting in the board room in Lansing.


If the state Supreme Court timely clarifies that its decision did not take immediate effect or the state legislature quickly passes a law that clarifies under which conditions a public meeting may be held, a state board meeting may still be held in October.


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