(PATCH) — Michigan’s top Republican lawmakers are proposing a school reopening plan that would use $1.3 billion in federal funds to offset coronavirus-related expenses.
As schools across the state brace for cuts caused by the coronavirus recession, the money could be a game changer. After months of ominous school budget forecasts, GOP leaders said their plan would eliminate any education-related cuts during the coming year.
“We’re hoping that it’s enough to offset any loss for now,” said Pamela Hornberger, chair of the House education committee. “Our plan uses federal funds to provide students with stability, and it gives us time to plan future K-12 funding.”
With the backing of party leaders, the GOP legislation could soon land on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. But it takes steps that Whitmer is likely to oppose, such as redefining attendance to mean “engaged in learning,” rather than “present in a classroom.”
Whitmer’s spokesperson slammed the plan in a statement, pointing out similarities to a proposal published on Wednesday by the Great Lakes Education Project, an advocacy group founded by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
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