Press Release

The following statement may be attributed to Amber Arellano, executive director, The Education Trust-Midwest, on Michigan’s unaudited school enrollment data.

“New data — combined with emerging national research — suggests that many Michigan students’ learning is being left behind or stalled during the pandemic.  Whether children lack internet access, schools lack device access or families lack the support they need to help their children continue to learn, the emerging trends from COVID-19 demand urgent attention from policymakers, district and civic leaders, educators and parents. Without effective intervention and innovative new approaches, this unfinished learning has the potential to exacerbate other troubling inequities and leave children of color, English Language learners, rural and urban learners and many other children devastatingly behind in learning.

While this new data and research sheds light on some impacts of COVID-19, Michigan parents and families, stakeholders and educators still lack meaningful information about student attendance and engagement, instructional quality and the impacts of enrollment shifts on educator talent and district finances.

“In the immediate, it’s critical that state and district leaders invest in robust efforts to find the students who have not returned to school since this school year began — and for some, even since the pandemic began.  Students need support and the access necessary to stay connected to quality learning during this unprecedented time.

For state leaders and the new Biden administration, it is imperative that federal leaders invest significant more stimulus dollars to ramp up innovative efforts to ensure no students are left behind during this pandemic.  State and federal leaders should dedicate ample additional resources and funding to schools and students, particularly those from under-resourced communities, so that they can recover from this lost instructional time and have the opportunity to accelerate their learning and achieve at high levels.”