Whitmer Relents, Signs New Executive Order Re-Opening More Gathering Places

Michigan movie theaters and performance venues will soon be allowed to reopen, according to an executive order signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The order, which also amends coronavirus safety mandates in schools, will allow a variety of previously closed entertainment venues, including indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities and trampoline parks, to reopen statewide on October 9.

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Data Proves That Most Newly-Reopened Schools Are Safe from Coronavirus

The latest data from health experts seems to be proving that reopening schools is not nearly as dangerous as some fearmongers warned, and that newly-reopened schools are not nearly as likely to experience surges in the coronavirus, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

The data comes from the National COVID-19 School Response Data Dashboard, which is run by researchers at Brown University. Their research showed that in the period from August 31st to September 13th, there were only about 230 new coronavirus cases for every 100,000 students, and about 490 new cases for every 100,000 staff members. The study sample consisted of over 550 schools, with 300 of them featuring in-person classes.

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DeVos Tells Michigan Schools Not to Expect Federal Testing Waivers

Michigan schools should not anticipate waivers to allow schools to skip statewide testing for the upcoming school year, according to a letter sent by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to State Superintendent Michael Rice.

Rice and State Board of Education President Casandra Ulbrich had, in light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, requested waivers from DeVos that would allow Michigan schools to skip student assessments typically required federally.

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Michigan to Publish Which Schools Have Coronavirus Outbreaks

Michigan will begin identifying K-12 schools that have coronavirus outbreaks beginning on September 14, a state spokesperson told BridgeMI on Tuesday.

Up to this point, the state has been confirming the regions in which the outbreaks are occurring, but have not provided more specific information, such as the specific school districts in which the outbreaks are located.

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86 Percent of Michigan Schools to Offer In-Person Learning

Eighty-six percent of school districts in Michigan will offer some or all in-person instruction at the beginning of the school year, according to a study conducted by Michigan State University (MSU).

The study, released Friday, showed that 59 percent of Michigan school districts will be offering in-person schooling five days a week and 27 percent will be offering it at least two to three days a week.

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Commentary: The Practice of Schools Using Empty Classes for Expensive Day Care, and Charging Parents Twice Needs to End

Normally when a business shuts its doors, it doesn’t still get to charge its customers for a product they can no longer access. It certainly doesn’t get to charge its customers twice for the privilege.

Yet, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from some public school districts. They refuse to open their doors for in-person learning—citing safety risks—but they are able to open these same school buildings to charge overworked and tired parents for day care. 

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More Than $37 Million in Grant Funding Available to Close Technology Gap, Provide Mental Health Support in Schools

School districts seeking additional funding to help offset the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for a grant from the Education Equity Fund.

The fund, created by the Michigan Department of Education, is aimed at helping to close the technology gap and provide mental health services for students and staff.

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Commentary: In-Person Schooling Would Be One of the Safest Activities to Reopen

Most students around the country haven’t been to school since March, when large parts of the country began to lock down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the data increasingly suggests that reopening schools entails the least risks and should be a goal of every level of government.

The early hope was that the closures would be temporary, such as Michigan’s school-closure order that was originally meant to end in April—but that was extended for the rest of the school year.

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Michigan Schools Will Hold In-Person Classes in Fall, Whitmer Announces

Michigan schools will be allowed to reopen and hold in-person classes in the fall, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday.

Schools will be required to follow strict safety measures. Whitmer said she plans to release an executive order and a “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” on June 30 that will contain the requirements and recommendations for schools. It is currently unclear what those requirements may be.

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GOP Bill Would Withhold Funding from Schools That Don’t Reopen by September

Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday meant to incentivize schools to reopen from coronavirus closures by September 5.

Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin introduced the Reopen Our Schools Act Thursday, which would withhold federal funding from schools that don’t open in the fall for in-person learning.

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Commentary: The CDC’s Guidelines for Back-to-School Under COVID Sound Traumatizing

When schools reopen in the US amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they will be even more restrictive than they already were. Schools have long controlled students’ movements and imposed constraints on where they can go, when, and with whom. With virus concerns, those controls will increase in quantity and intensity.

NPR recently proclaimed that “disruption from the pandemic constitutes an ‘adverse childhood experience’ for every American child.” While many children are sad to be away from their friends and activities, being home with their family members for a prolonged period of time is hardly an “adverse childhood experience” for most American children. Returning to schools with extreme virus control and social distancing measures, however, could very well be traumatic for many kids.

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Commentary: Our Schools and the Sexualization of the Young

In “Sexualization, Pornography, and Grooming in the Schools,” Amy Contrada reports on the introduction of “comprehensive sex education (CSE) into our schools. After reading her article and following some of the links, which contain graphic content, the word that first came to mind was YUCK! (Other words popped into the brain pan as well, but it’s best to not mention them.)

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Whitmer, Rice File Brief Supporting Challenge to Funding Law for Nonpublic Schools

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Rice filed a brief in the Michigan Supreme Court on Friday supporting a challenge to a law prohibiting the funding of nonpublic schools, except in the case of transportation.

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Rockford Bus Driver Named Michigan’s 2019 Education Support Staff Professional of the Year

A Rockford bus driver has been named Michigan’s Education Support Staff Professional of the Year for 2019 as part of the Michigan Department of Education’s ongoing effort to highlight individuals who go above and beyond for their schools.

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Percentage of Students in CTE Classes Sees Little Growth, Even As Completion Rate Rises

The number of Michigan students completing career and technical education programs has increased by more than 75 percent over the last four years, even as the percentage of students in CTE classes has stayed roughly the same, according to a press release from the Michigan Department of Education released this week.

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Superintendent of Rochester Community School District Robert Shaner Named 2020 Michigan Superintendent of the Year

  Dr. Robert Shaner, the Superintendent of Rochester Community School District (pictured above), was recently named the 2020 Michigan Superintendent of the Year by the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators. Shaner has worked as the superintendent of the Rochester Community School district since 2013. He earned his doctorate in…

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Commentary: The Self-Indulgent Ignorance of Today’s Education Establishment Prospers at the Expense of America’s Children

classroom

The 2020 elections will afford us the chance to pass judgment on the immediate threat to our democracy posed by the intelligence agencies, the Democratic party, and the media in their grab for power through a bastardized impeachment process. But no such opportunity exists for us to deal with the most serious, most fundamental threat to our way of life, namely our thoroughly rotten educational establishment.

The problem has been festering for decades, and keeps getting worse.

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