chalk and chalkboard in an education classroom
Public domain image via Wikimedia /

Michigan legislators have given final approval to bills that would provide flexibility for K-12 schools as they prepare to open amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will sign the legislation to waive physical attendance and minimum instruction requirements to allow for remote classes. The legislation would give districts and charter schools the option to choose in-person instruction, online or a hybrid based on consulting with local health departments.

Empty classroom photo
wiki commons

Michigan schools that deem it safe to provide in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic would have to prioritize the option for K-5 students under legislation that would also largely base districts’ state funding on last year’s pupil count to account for enrollment uncertainty in coming weeks.

The bills, which were approved 23-15 and 24-14 by the Senate in a rare Saturday session, reflect a deal announced late Friday by legislative leaders and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The House will vote Monday.

Michigan State University sign

Hackers have breached Michigan State University’s online store, gaining access to customer credit card numbers and other personal information, the university said.

The university on Monday began notifying customers who may have been affected by the hack. Michigan State’s information security team has corrected the site’s vulnerabilities that allowed the intrusion between Oct. 19, 2019 and June 26, officials said. The university is offering free credit monitoring to anyone affected by the breach.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday extended her mask requirement to include many children who attend day care and camps, saying the step is necessary to ensure that such facilities can remain open and safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, child care centers and camps were exempt from her order to wear a face covering inside enclosed public spaces and crowded outdoor places, though masks had been highly recommended at camps when small groups cross paths and cannot socially distance.

Kent County seal
Kent County

The Kent County Board of Commissioners is taking steps to provide COVID-19 funding to county schools for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment.

Currently, the state is in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start plan allowing schools to provide in-person instruction with required safety protocols. Some school districts are making plans for virtual learning, others a hybrid of virtual and in-person instruction.

Muskegon Public Schools to begin fall semester online

Jul 31, 2020
Muskegon Times

Muskegon Public Schools is yet another school district that has opted to start the new school year in the fall online.

One day after Grand Rapids Public Schools superintendent Leadriane Roby announced her recommendation to begin the fall semester virtually, Muskegon Public Schools says its doing the same.

In a letter to parents Tuesday, Superintendent Matthew Cortez said that he was “not confident that students and staff would be in a safe and healthy environment in our buildings right now,” Cortez said.

MHSAA football game photo

The Michigan High School Athletic Association said Wednesday that competition can begin Aug. 19 and 21 for lower-risk sports like golf, tennis and cross country, but it held off on allowing the start of football, volleyball and soccer games during the coronavirus pandemic.

education funding graphic

An education advocacy group says Michigan should shield low-income students from the brunt of a potential K-12 funding cut in the coming school year instead of making an across-the-board reduction to base aid to resolve a pandemic-caused budget hole. The Royal Oak-based Education Trust-Midwest and some business and education leaders launched a campaign Tuesday to protect funding for such students as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers grapple with $1.1 billion less in the school aid fund for next fiscal year than was projected previously.



Grand Rapids Public Schools superintendent Leadriane Roby Monday announced she is recommending that students continue distance learning once the new school year starts. The first nine weeks of the school year would be at home, with students continuing virtual learning this fall semester. The recommendation will be made to the school board, who will make the final decision.

“We have repeatedly said the safety, health, and well-being of our students and staff are our top priority and will be the top priority in our decision making,” Roby said. 

propane school bus photo

School districts in western Michigan will be replacing old diesel buses with cleaner vehicles.

Three districts and a private school have been awarded $450,000 in federal grants to make the switch, said the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

“Diesel emissions from older buses are not only immediately harmful to Michigan’s children, but they contribute to long-term damage to the environment and climate,” department official Robert Jackson said.