Podcast: Renk Interview With State Rep. Andrew Fink On School Covid Relief Taxpayer Dollars
We learned from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy last week that Michigan’s K-12 schools will be receiving approximately $5.75 billion dollars in supposedly Covid Relief funds. These funds come to an average of $4,600 per student in Michigan’s K-12 schools.
I wanted to speak with someone from Michigan’s House Appropriations Committee to determine exactly what can Michigan’s school districts spend the taxpayer borrowed money on. There is so much taxpayer cash that has been borrowed by those who voted yes there is no way most of these schools could spend those borrowed dollars on only Covid-19 mitigation strategies.
In my interview with Rep. Fink it appears that the following is some of the stipulations on the spending that are in the bills in Michigan’s legislature:
- Anything to help schools prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. This includes coordination of preparedness and response efforts of schools with public health departments.
- Training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean facilities.
- Planning for and coordination for long-term closures (if they’re needed) including how to provide technology for online learning to all students and how to provide meals to eligible students.
- Providing mental health services.
- Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental after-school programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months.
- Maintenance and replacement of equipment to improve the indoor air quality in schools (including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems…also window and door repair and replacement.)
- Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ an existing staff of the local educational agency.
The interesting above bullet point is the last one:
“Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.”
Sounds like a catch-all spending bucket to me.
Please listen to my following discussion on the Covid-19 Relief bills with State Representative Andrew Fink: