Education Organizations Blast Inaction on COVID-19 School Support

Despite bipartisan support, legislation stalled on school employee pay and forgiveness for closure days

MICHIGAN — No action occurred today on a bipartisan solution to keep school employees paid and forgive school districts for the days of education missed due to the ongoing school closures caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Michigan Education Association, AFT Michigan, Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators and Michigan Association of School Boards issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s adjournment without action on the issue:

“Over the past few days, our organizations — from both the labor and management sides of the education community — have worked together to find a legislative solution to ensure all school employees continue to be paid during this crisis. We agreed on an approach that would bring some certainty around pay and days/hours requirements to school districts and employees alike. These issues are interlinked and must be tackled together to address the needs of employees and districts, knowing that we will need to address the long-term needs of students when we know how long this crisis will last.

“We had significant, bipartisan support for our approach developed over days of conversations with lawmakers — something we greatly appreciate. We believe the majority of legislators want to deliver whatever level of certainty they can to students, parents, school employees and district leaders.

“Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey adjourned his chamber without taking action today. Leaving a bipartisan solution to an immediate problem on the table during a time of crisis is not in anyone’s best interests.  We call on Sen. Shirkey to reconvene the Senate and address these issues for school employees and districts. They deserve nothing less, given the immense efforts overtaken since last Friday to continue engaging students in learning where possible and to ensure meals and other critical supports continue to flow to our students with the greatest need.”


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12 thoughts on “Education Organizations Blast Inaction on COVID-19 School Support

  1. I am a paraeducator who works with special need students and you should ensure we get paid. We are on the Frontline taking care of the most vulnerable and you can’t leave us not able to care for ourselves and our family. Believe me if you do not take care of us I am confident every family with a special needs child will sound the alarm. We are on the Frontline and we are the lowest paid. We wirk with kids who are on the spectrum, blind, deaf, emotionally impaired, physically impaired, learning disabled, cognitively impaired etc…. If we don’t get paid the system will fail when you try and put it back together. We will all find other jobs for we will need better pay. I use to be in business and a manager. I could do other things but I chose to make a difference with our children. Please make a difference and take care of us.

  2. Please forgive the school days/hours in light of this virus. School employees must continue to receive a paycheck during this time as well.

  3. Dear Legislators,
    I am currently working from home building videos, online learning platforms, and even “at home” experiments for three different chemistry courses. I have already had video lessons with each of my classes and continue to do so each week. Why? They need the normalcy of school. They need the structure. I am doing this while trying to oversee the lessons that my children are doing. Their teachers have been creating the same “at home” learning experience for them. Please act now to be sure that these days count toward instruction and that we are paid for this time.
    Jayme Pfannes
    Teacher in Utica Community Schools
    Parent of children in Romeo Community Schools

  4. Please continue to pay teacher’s during this difficult time dealing with social distancing (isolation)!

  5. Kurt H. Meis
    Dear Legislators,
    I am extremely pleased to hear about the overwhelming bipartisan support for Bill SB 373. Obviously, regardless of political perspective it’s clear the majority of legislators agree the right thing to do for Michigan educators is to ensure they and their families continue to be supported financially throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking for my colleagues, I know how much effort they put into their students and their profession, and I appreciate all the representatives on both sides who agree with supporting teachers during these unprecedented times. However, I am deeply saddened and disheartened that some wish to play politics at a time of deep crisis in our local communities, our state, and our country. This is NOT the time for using leverage to advance a particular political agenda. On the contrary, this is a time to set aside our differences and lift each other up so that we may all continue to serve this great state and one another. Both my wife and I are proud to be educators in the Lansing School District and we look forward to returning to work so that we may support our students and their learning. Please support us by reconvening so that Bill SB 373 may be passed and educators may continue to receive the financial tools needed to serve Michigan.

  6. Dear Legislators,
    Our state is filled with dedicated, tireless, passionate people in the business of educating children. My colleagues and I have been communicating with our students and working to provide our students with the best online resources we can in these trying circumstances. We are keeping an open line of communication with our students to keep them informed, and encourage review and practice of skills already mastered. Many Michigan educators are making themselves available to students electronically to help with continued education. I have received several emails from parents with questions about learning, and to tell me what they children have been doing. This crisis doesn’t diminish the connection or purpose teachers have with their children all over our great state. We will continue to do our work, to guide our students through this crisis while promoting learning.

    1. Please allow for forgiveness for the days closed in terms of meeting our 180 instructional day minimum.
    2. Ensure that all school employees will continue to be paid during this closure. Some districts are already doing this. But many districts are not.

  7. The West Bloomfield School District has been working hard immediately after school closings to help support continued education for our children. There has been a lot of hard work put in from the educators and the parents to support cloud learning. This should all be accounted for and paid for the dedication. This district deserves high honors for all that came together and made things happen. My child has a chrome book, packet of materials, and daily assignments along with attendance. This is equal and more to any home schooling that can be credited.
    Please support our schools and our educators during this difficult time.
    Thank You

  8. Every commercial states we are all in this together, at this time of desperate need please do not fail to show your support of the voters that voted you in hoping you would have our backs, prove it and support this bill!

  9. Please take action NOW! Teachers/staff need to be paid, and both teachers and students need to be acknowledged for their persistent and hard work throughout this global pandemic. Take action NOW!

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