FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5508
EAST LANSING – The following can be attributed to MEA President Paula Herbart regarding tonight’s order from Gov. Whitmer that Michigan schools will be closed for three weeks starting Monday:
“Earlier today, I recorded a message urging that we follow the advice of public health officials when it comes to school closures. Tonight, Gov. Whitmer heeded the advice of public health officials and has cancelled school statewide for the next three weeks, effective Monday.
“MEA supports this decision, which is in the best health interests of students, school employees and the public at large. We must take the actions deemed necessary to slow this outbreak.
“Our primary concern needs to be for the well-being of students and families who depend on our schools for meals and other support. We are asking MEA members and other adults who are at lower risk of contracting the virus to help efforts to keep students safe and fed, like they do every day. As more details are available on these efforts, MEA is committed to sharing that information.
“We appreciate Gov. Whitmer’s call for school employees to continue being paid during this closure. School districts need to commit now to do as such, understanding lower-wage workers will face significant economic risk in this crisis. This is the right thing to do, given the funding is there from the state to pay these employees as if school was in session.”