After negotiations between the Republicans, Democrats, and the Governor the Michigan Senate passed a bill that essentially says you decide. Last Saturday the Michigan Senate approved bills that will allow schools to choose whether to have in-classroom and in-person sessions or go totally virtual.  If they were to go totally virtual they would have to ensure interactions between teachers and students.  The main bill passed the Senate 23-15 Saturday.

The Detroit News is reporting that policies in the bill would require benchmarks assessments and monthly reconfirmations of the schools' plans. School districts are concerned about how they'll “balance handling the pandemic, financial uncertainty and the new requirements for benchmark assessments, monthly meetings on their reopening plans and tracking interactions between teachers and students”.

Michigan’s two largest teachers' unions, the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are supporting the bill.  Paula Herbart, president of the MEA, and David Hecker, president of the AFT Michigan issued a joint statement and said that the bills.

“provide students, parents, educators and districts both certainty and flexibility on key issues as we head into the 2020-21 school year”

What happens when it comes to funding, will they be funded based on enrollment as they have for decades.  That would be a big fat NO!

The bills will tie 75% of schools' enrollment counts to the previous year.  Does that sound fair to the taxpayers of Michigan?  Why would we possibly fund a school for students that will not be there? Apparently the schools actually did not want to suffer any consequences for their decisions not to have in-classroom and person classes and wanted 100% of their funding to be based on last year's numbers.

The superintendent of Troy schools Richard Machesky actually stated:

"If the kids in Michigan are your priority, schools in Michigan should have been held harmless”

Really Richard, can I ask you if kids in your school district are your priority why would you not call for all in-classroom instruction and any teachers or children with an underlying health issue to either teach from home or view the classes on-line.  

The Director of the CDC Robert Redfield and most other scientists and doctors all state there should be in-classroom school this year except in any hot spots.  Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center stated that there is “no science behind having children not attend schools”.

The Washington Examiner is reporting that data from Denmark shows that children returning to school did not cause an increase in coronavirus cases.

The Guardian newspaper in the UK stated:

“The reopening of schools in 22 European countries has not led to any significant increase in coronavirus infections among children, parents or staff, a videoconference meeting of education ministers from around the EU has heard”

In an interview with Harvard Law Today, Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Bartholet faculty director of the HLS Child Advocacy Program, and James Dwyer holds the Arthur B. Hanson chair at the William & Mary School of Law, have noted 

“that child abuse is apparently on the rise, as at-risk children have been kept out of sight of teachers and other mandated reporters of child abuse through the spring and summer”

Richard Machesky, superintendent of Troy schools need I say more?  I believe you were talking about children being the priority.  Instead, it appears that you are making your teachers, the adults as your priority.

There is more at risk by not having the children in school in front of teachers than COVID-19.  It appears that the adults in the business of education are not listening to the scientist and medical doctors and are more concerned about themselves than the children.

One thing they are showing all taxpayers is these large beautiful school buildings that we are spending 100’s of millions on are not needed.  Also, if we go to all virtual schooling they are showing us that we do not need all the teachers currently employed.  This is something there are saying with their actions, not something that I am necessarily advocating for.

By the way, if the teachers are so worried about contracting COVID-19 who does all their shopping for them?  As I say on my show, if they ever go outside of their homes to crowed places like stores then they are undercutting their argument.

The Bill now heads back to the House for debate and to be voted on.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595