Gov. Whitmer Leads Roundtable Discussion with Local Educators, Administrators & Students at Wyoming Public Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

September 9, 2021   

Press@Michigan.gov  

Gov. Whitmer Leads Roundtable Discussion with Local Educators, Administrators & Students at Wyoming Public Schools    

WYOMING, Mich. - Following the largest education investment in Michigan's history of $17 billion without raising taxes, which closed the funding gap between the highest- and lowest-funded school districts, Governor Whitmer met with educators, school administrations, and students from Wyoming Public Schools in Kent County to ensure a smooth transition as districts across the state move back to in-person learning.  

"It has been an incredibly difficult year and a half for so many Michiganders, but especially for our students and educators, who have had to adjust quickly to constantly changing circumstances," said Governor Whitmer. "I'm inspired by how school districts across our state have stepped up to put students first, and I will continue working hard to get them the resources they need to thrive. Our classrooms and communities show so much promise for what's ahead as they return to in-person learning safely. I will be there every step of the way to support teachers, students and parents as we return to in-person learning and tackle ongoing mental health challenges."  

Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II will meet with school districts across Michigan to discuss best practices for transitioning from virtual to in-person learning and hearing directly from students on the supports they need. During these unprecedented times, students need a comprehensive recovery-social-emotional, mental, physical, and academic support.  

In February of 2021, Governor Whitmer created the Student Recovery Advisory Council of Michigan. The Council has released a Blueprint that districts can use to create their own comprehensive student recovery plans. The Blueprint is designed to support local education leaders in developing and implementing a comprehensive recovery plan that is multi-year, 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 accelerate student recovery now and lay the foundation for significant systems change in the future.  

"As a District, the physical, social, and emotional health and safety of our students, staff, and families is of the utmost importance," said Craig Hoekstra, superintendent of Wyoming Public Schools. "Our families have faced many difficulties due to the pandemic.  From the passing of loved ones to job loss to food insecurity, our District has worked tirelessly to put resources and supports in place to assist in alleviating some of the stresses our families have faced during these challenging times.  We appreciate Governor Whitmer taking the time out of her busy schedule to hear our story and ensure we continue to receive the resources we need to take care of each other."    

"Each and every day our educators are working to meet the needs of students," said Ron Koehler, superintendent of Kent ISD. "We greatly appreciate the Governor and the legislature coming together to provide a historic investment in our schools. These resources will go a long way in meeting the needs of our students and keeping them in the classroom." 

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% operational funding increase.    

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