MEA President Paula Herbart and Small Business Association of Michigan CEO Rob Fowler – who both serve as co-chairs for Launch Michigan – teamed up for an op-ed in Bridge Magazine calling on the state to boost funding for students with special needs:
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught our state many things. The biggest lesson is this: Michigan’s most vulnerable residents need stronger services and supports.
This past spring, many students who receive special education services were suddenly left behind when their classrooms transitioned to distance learning. Getting this important population back on track remains critical work for our state’s educators.
Unfortunately, federal leaders have chronically underfunded quality special education services. Here in Michigan, our state funding structure also fails to adequately fund the needs of these students, which are normally much more expensive than the general education population. Instead, costs have been pushed to the county and local levels, where tough choices must be made about how to provide necessary services without breaking the bank.