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Education

graduation caps  being thrown in the air
Satria Perkasa / Unsplash

High school seniors have all of the concerns that younger kids have right now. They're missing their friends, their schools, and their normal schedules. On top of that, they are uncertain about what their next steps will look like or how the deep economic ripples caused by the pandemic will affect them. It's anything but a fun summer. Stateside talked to three high school seniors about what it's like when a major milestone gets overshadowed by a global public health pandemic. 

The University of Michigan campus, normally packed with students, is now empty.
Katie Raymond

The University of Michigan’s President says he hopes the school soon can decide when to reopen the campus to faculty and students. Mark Schlissel says it will be a gradual return.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

For many people in Michigan, one of the most pressing issues during the coronavirus pandemic is how to handle K-12 education. Parents and kids are still navigating the final weeks of this school year, but there are major questions about what will be possible in the fall.

Michigan's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Rice spoke with Michigan Radio's Morning Edition about the posssibilities and concerns. 

Empty classroom
Kevin Wong / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It won't be back to normal in the fall for West Bloomfield public school students and their families.

The School District has rolled out a plan for the upcoming school year. It is believed to be the first in the state to do so.

Multi-colored books.
Kimberly Farmer / Unsplash

A federal appeals court has thrown out a groundbreaking decision that said Detroit students had a constitutional right to education and literacy. The move comes just days after Michigan's governor settled the case by agreeing to seek millions from the Legislature to improve education programs.

kids with backpacks on going back to school
WavebreakmediaMicro / Adobe Stock

When schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the way students were taught had to shift on a dime. Online platforms like Zoom became the new classrooms. These sudden changes have also highlighted the shortcomings and inequities of our current school system. That has some educators thinking about whether this crisis could be an opportunity to reinvent what school looks like this fall and beyond.

Photo by Robyn Budlender on Unsplash

The state of Michigan has announced a settlement in a lawsuit over poor reading skills that was filed on behalf of Detroit schoolchildren, weeks after a federal appeals court issued a groundbreaking decision recognizing a constitutional right to education and literacy.

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University has announced a new round of cost-saving measures arising from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

man welding, sparks
Daniel Wiadro / Unsplash

Picture this: you're going to college half-time and working half-time - at a low-paying job - to get by. Then a global crisis hits and you lose that part-time job. Soon, you realize you need help from the state to get food on the table, but to qualify you have to drop out of school.

Some Michigan college students had been facing that dilemma until a rule change that was announced Tuesday. 

CMU's sign
Central Michigan University

COVID-19 has thrown a major wrench into the higher education experience. Now, both students and schools are grappling with what college may look like in the fall semester. Some schools have already announced that they will be returning to campus, but the unprecedented nature of this pandemic means many plans are still up in the air.

An empty lecture hall
Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we’ll talk to a graduating high school senior about what’s on her mind as she prepares for a freshman year at college that looks very different than what she expected. Plus, we’ll hear from author Michael Zadoorian about his new novel and the death of the book tour. 

Zaria phillips stands with her two sisters in cap and gowns
Courtesy of Zaria Phillips

This was a pretty tough weekend for families with graduating seniors. To have graduation eclipsed by so much fear and risk is hard. And the question of what happens after graduation is weighing heavily on a lot of graduates’ minds. Stateside spoke to two women graduating in 2020 about what this season has been like for them.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan school districts will soon be allowed to apply for millions of dollars of federal aid tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $13.2 billion Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund is meant to address the impact the COVID-19 public health crisis has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the United States. ESSER funding was included as part of the $2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to help store clerks and nursing home staff who are showing up for work during the COVID-19 crisis pay for college or job training.

Whitmer says her plan is modeled after the G.I. Bill that helped military veterans pursue higher education after World War II. The governor says she wants to use federal disaster funds to pay for the program.

Wayne State University
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Wayne State University officials say the school might have to cut up to $60 million from next year's budget as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That number would represent about 15% of the institution's current projected budget.

University president M. Roy Wilson says while plans are in place for varying levels of financial impact, the university will not be laying-off employees yet.

Voncile Campbell in green striped shirt smiling
Warren E. Bow School / Facebook

Thousands of Michigan students have been cut adrift from their school communities as the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered school buildings. Their academic paths suddenly depend on their family’s ability to obtain electronic devices or pay for internet service. But teachers are working to find new ways to stay connected with their students—like virtual bedtime stories. 

people stand around a coffin
Rhodi Lopez / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we talk to a Detroit elementary school teacher who has been getting online every night for story time with her students. Plus, a funeral director tells us what’s changed and what hasn’t about the work of helping with life’s final transition during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samuel Stanley smiling ina blue suit in front of a brick building and trees in the background
Michigan State University

Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley announced Thursday a series of budget cuts arising from the financial strain brought on by the coronavirus.

In a letter to all university employees, Stanley said he and all MSU top executives, of whom there are about 150, will take temporary, immediate pay cuts that could last through May or June or possibly up to a full year.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Jon and Cheryl Edwards filed suit against Michigan State University in federal court in late February.  

The lawsuit alleges a pattern of sexual misconduct by the late MSU history professor Harold Marcus more than 35 years ago when they were students at MSU.  

DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
Detroit Public Schools Community District

The Detroit Public Schools Community District will start making assignments and teacher instruction videos available next week, according to the district’s superintendent, Nikolai Vitti.

Online course materials will be posted on the district’s website. Paper copies will also be available at sites throughout the district, starting at its food distribution centers.

Gretchen whitmer at a microphone
Jake Neher / WDET

On Monday, Bridge Magazine reported Governor Gretchen Whitmer was expected to sign an executive order that would effectively end the school year for Michigan students. However, Whitmer has told Michigan Radio that there won't be an order coming today and that coming up with a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of the students won't happen overnight. Whitmer did indicate that an order could be signed as soon as Wednesday, however.

a family sitting outside together at a park
Rick Pluta / Michigan Radio

Updated March 27, 2020 at 11:59 a.m.

On a radio interview with WWJ-AM Friday morning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said that it would be "very unlikely" that students would be returning to Michigan schools before the end of the 2019-2020 school year. 

SSG Chris Branagan / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan Board of Regents Thursday voted unanimously to fire a prominent tenured professor accused of sexual misconduct.

David Daniels is a renowned opera singer and was a professor in the U of M School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

a classroom of empty colorful chairs
Flickr user Frank Juarez / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, we examine the domino effect the COVID-19 lockdown is having on the residential rental market—from renters, to landlords, to lenders. Plus, the superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District says the state should end the school year now, and focus on getting districts the support they need to shift to online learning. 

David Daniels
Brad Barket/Getty Images / NPR

Regents at the University of Michigan are expected to consider a recommendation from its president that the school fire an opera singer and tenured music professor facing sexual assault charges.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit Public Schools Community District officials are changing the way the district provides free meals to children in response to the governor’s order to “stay at home” during the COVID-19 outbreak.

test with bubble answers
mehmet / Adobe Stock

If Michigan students return to classrooms this school year, they won’t have to take the M-STEP test.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Friday that students in states that have closed schools will not have to take federally-mandated assessments this year.

child using a tablet at a table
StockSnap / Pixabay

The Michigan State Department of Education is not counting online classes as school days. That’s according to a memo sent by the state Friday to school administrators.

That’s in response to questions raised after Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered schools closed until at least April 5 as part of the state’s response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

boy sits at table writing something
Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, an Ann Arbor bookstore is racing to come up with a way to do business online after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close its storefront. Plus, Michigan’s Teacher of the Year gives advice on how to teach kids from home.

jimmiehomeschoolmom / flickr

With the COVID-19 shutting down K-12 schools across the country, many parents and caregivers have suddenly become full-time homeschool teachers. It can be hard to adjust to this new routine and you may feel like you're dropping the ball. To help, we spoke with homeschoolers, both old and newly-appointed, to gather some tips that may help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

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