The Education Trust-Midwest’s statement on the MI COVID Recovery Plan
The statement below may be attributed to Amber Arellano, executive director, The Education Trust-Midwest
“We applaud Governor’s Whitmer’s proposal to invest more dollars to education as part of her MI COVID Recovery Plan.
“While more funding is still needed to spur Michigan’s education recovery, the Governor’s plan to invest additional state dollars toward meeting the additional needs of students with disabilities is particularly important. Our state’s most underserved students have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, compounded by longstanding and deeply troubling inequities in Michigan’s education system that have worsened the opportunity gap. The proposed state investment comes alongside much-needed federal stimulus funds now arriving in Michigan that will be sent to districts according to student need.
“As our state leaders consider next steps to respond to the crisis, The Education-Trust Midwest continues to urge them to address the teaching and learning needs — as well as socio-emotional and other needs — of Michigan’s underserved students. We also urge district leaders to invest these one-time funds to bring about systemic improvements that both will address the immediate crisis while also ideally simultaneously building work that yields long-term improvements in student outcomes.
“To increase transparency around the use of federal stimulus funds, Michigan school districts’ applications for this funding and any future federal stimulus dollars should be published on the Michigan Department of Education website. Applications should require districts to include specific measurable outcomes and details about how they will use new investments to meet grade-level expectations to inform parents and other stakeholders of their efforts, as well as to inform future work in the state.
“The funds announced today will help Michigan meet student needs this school year and next, but systemic inequities remain. By targeting resources to vulnerable student groups now and in the future, Michigan can make important headway in addressing systemic inequities, working to ensure they do not endure for another generation or more. State legislators and the Governor should use this time to correct underlying funding inequities and ensure that the needs of every student, regardless of income, ability or English learner status, will be met over the long term.”