Posted by The Huron Hub Thursday, March 26, 2020
State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia), called for an early end to the school year following the projected course of COVID-19.
The legislators say the need to provide certainty and a path forward for districts and families is essential at this time.
“We are ready and willing to address this legislatively,” said Camilleri and Polehanki in a joint statement. “But to act faster and provide clarity for our school districts, we urge the Governor to close schools for the rest of the year to protect our students, teachers, and families.”
Both Polehanki and Camilleri said they have key pieces of legislation that would help the state complete this closure in a responsible way, including forgiving days, fixing teacher evaluations, and addressing third grade retention.
Both said that the quickest and most decisive way to close schools would be through action on Governor Whitmer’s part.
Polehanki and Camilleri, both former teachers and Democratic Vice Chairs of the Michigan House and Senate Education Committees, supported Whitmer on recent actions they say protect students and emphasized the importance of ensuring teachers, administrators, and support staff still receive the pay and benefits they deserve if the school year is cut short.
The legislators also called for immediate action to allow districts to plan for the summer and beyond.
“Above all else, we need a swift decision so districts will know where they stand,” said Camilleri and Polehanki. “We know that deciding to close school would lead to many additional questions, and we are ready to work with the Governor’s office, the Department of Education, and our local school districts to make this work for everyone.”