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Education

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

In just six to eight weeks, Michigan’s K - 12 students will be returning to school for the fall semester. 

Most districts appear to be planning for at least a limited number of days of in-person teaching.

But cases of COVID-19 are increasing in the state, and teachers are anxious about the risks for them, their students and their own families. 

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Michigan schools could face an even worse substitute teacher shortage because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state released guidelines last month outlining students’ return to in-person learning in classrooms, which specifies face coverings and physical distancing requirements.

Dana Nessel
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Michigan has joined four other states and Washington, D.C. to challenge how the U.S. Department of Education is allocating money for schools.

The funds come from the CARES Act to assist schools with their COVID-19 responses.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan colleges and universities are scrambling to figure out what a new federal government rule means for their international students.

That comes after the government’s announcement this week that the government will no longer issue student visas to foreign students whose universities go to online-only classes.

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
State of Michigan

The state's much-anticipated pandemic road map for returning to in-person K-12 instruction was released Tuesday.

The plan includes requirements that all school districts must follow, along with recommendations.  Districts will be permitted to institute stricter measures if they wish.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan Regents approved a slight tuition increase Monday night.

The regents approved a budget, including a 1.9% tuition increase, on a five to two vote. The board deadlocked on a similar proposal last week.

The budget takes effect Wednesday. 

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge ordered the University of Michigan on Wednesday to immediately stop communicating with alumni who could be potential plaintiffs in class action litigation against the school.

The order came after Judge Victoria Roberts learned that in April, U of M had contacted more than 300,000 former students in connection with its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse by the late Dr. Robert Anderson. 

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A note: In this episode we talk about school lockdown drills, which may not be appropriate for our younger listeners.

Gen Z is growing up in a world changed forever before they were even born by events like September 11 and Columbine.

They’ve also been hit with two defining events that will shape their lives in ways we can’t even anticipate: the looming threat of climate change, and the more immediate threat of COVID-19.

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

Michigan State University is cutting the salaries of non-unionized faculty and academic staff because of the budgetary impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

MSU President Dr. Samuel Stanley, Jr., announced in a letter Monday to all university employees that the pay cuts will start on September 1 and last at least one year.

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

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to roll out her plans next week on re-opening schools in the fall. Tuesday, the Legislature’s Republican leaders outlined their proposed back-to-school plans.

Kindergarten-through-fifth graders would have to have some classroom time, while more resources would also be devoted to at-home learning. But it’s still a work in progress, especially when it comes to paying for back-to-school plans. Some of the money would come from the federal government.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The union representing non-tenure instructors at the University of Michigan is upset that dozens of lecturers are losing their jobs because of budget cuts.

The staff cuts are hitting particularly hard on U of M’s Flint and Dearborn campuses.

U of M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says the main reasons for the layoffs are declining enrollment and a change in teaching approach. 

a young black boy reading a workbook
Unsplash

Protests continue across the country in response to police brutality against Black Americans. But while systemic racism might be most visible in the criminal justice system, it touches every aspect of American society. That includes our education system. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The COVID-19 pandemic is raising concerns among some University of Michigan students in Dearborn and Flint about whether they are getting the same financial help that students on the Ann Arbor campus receive.

Alysia Trevino is with the group One University.

Trevino says the pandemic is adding to the burden of students with fewer financial resources.

Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

School districts are in the middle of a budget nightmare.

Balanced budgets are due to the state by June 30. But administrators don't know what the state's per pupil funding will be, because the state has postponed finalizing its budget until the fall.

They can't estimate how many pupils they will have, due to pandemic uncertainty.

And the state could also cut funding for the current fiscal year, because its own revenues are so uncertain.

Back of a school bus
Pixabay

Oakland County is bringing some new employees on board for when schools re-open this fall—nurses.

The Oakland Together School Nurse Initiative calls for hiring 68 nurses. Each nurse would be assigned a school district to work with through December.

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

Forty-six west Michigan school superintendents have warned state and federal officials that school funding cuts are not acceptable.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the superintendents from Muskegon, Kent and Ottawa counties called on the U.S. Congress to quickly take action to provide additional aid for public education. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal appeals court has dismissed a motion seeking to undo a ruling in a literacy lawsuit from Detroit.

All 16 judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed to deny the request to review a ruling by a three judge panel of the appeals court in “Gary B. v. Whitmer.”

The 2016 lawsuit was filed against the state of Michigan on behalf of students from several of Detroit’s worst performing schools.

DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
Detroit Public Schools Community District

The Detroit Public Schools Community District wants feedback on its recently released draft plan to re-open schools.

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

Health and safety risks are in the forefront of Michigan teachers' thoughts as they consider what public education might look like this fall with the uncertainties of COVID-19.

That's according to a Michigan Education Association survey of its 120,000 members, conducted May 14-22 and released Thursday.

teacher standing in front of class with large monitor
Steve Riot / Pixabay

Today on Stateside, one sheriff shares what his department has learned about its own biases and discusses if proposed reforms for police departments are enough. Plus, what's on teachers' minds as they look at plans to reopen schools this fall. 

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.

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