Kennedy, Legislative Dems Unveil Package to Support Teachers, Students Following COVID-19 Crisis

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Lansing, Mich., July 22, 2020 — State Rep. Sheryl Kennedy (D-Davison), state Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) and Democrats in the House and Senate introduced a package of bills in their respective chambers today to better support teachers and students in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by pausing various state assessments related to education for the 2020-2021 school year. Kennedy’s bills in the package would put a pause on the state mandate requiring teacher evaluations for the upcoming year.

“During this unprecedented pandemic, our state’s educators have stepped up and demonstrated their continued commitment to the students of Michigan—now it’s our turn to show our support for them,” said Kennedy. “There is no doubt that this next school year will be marked by numerous challenges. In order to overcome these obstacles, we must do all that we can to ensure Michigan’s teachers can focus on catching their students up and getting them back on a pathway to success, and that’s precisely what this package aims to do.” 

Collectively, the comprehensive legislative package would:

  • Pause the state mandate that districts evaluate teachers for the 2020-2021 school year (Kennedy).
  • Amend the requirement of teacher evaluations in tenure act to exclude the 2020-2021 school year (Kennedy).
  • Pause the requirement that the Kindergarten Readiness Exam be administered for the 2020-2021 school year (Darrin Camilleri, D-Brownstown).
  • Pause the requirement that districts administer the MSTEP and PSAT 8-10 to receive state aid payments for the 2020-2021 school year (Lori Stone, D-Warren).
  • Pause the state mandate that districts administer the Michigan Merit Exam including the ACT Work Keys in the Michigan School Aid Act (Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth).
  • Pause the state mandate that districts administer the Michigan Merit Exam including the ACT Work Keys in the Michigan School Code (Koleszar)
  • Pause the Read by Grade including retention and the requirement of administering the screener for the 2020-2021 school year (Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing).
  • Pause the requirement that Michigan Department of Education assign schools a “letter grade” for the 2020-2021 school year (Brenda Carter, D-Pontiac).

Companion bills were introduced by Senate Democrats.

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