Schools Out

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said it’s “very unlikely” Michigan students will return to the classroom this spring.

DETROIT — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday morning that it’s “very unlikely” Michigan students will return to classrooms this school year.

“We are working diligently to come up with a plan to meet the needs of our kids,” Whitmer said during an interview on WWJ Newsradio. “Anyone who’s watching globally what’s happening with this pandemic probably knows it’s not going to be this year.”

The statement comes as a growing number of educators pressed Whitmer, state lawmakers and State Superintendent Michael Rice for answers on how the school year will play out.

In a letter Wednesday, educators called on state officials “to immediately provide clarity to Michiganders on what’s next for our children. Further delay creates uncertainty for countless communities across our state.”The letter was sent on behalf of the Michigan Association of School Boards as well as associations representing school superintendents and intermediate school districts.

Asked at a news conference Thursday when educators could expect a plan, Whitmer said it would likely come “in the next week or so.”

“The powers of the executive office are immense, especially in times like these,” Whitmer said.

“But I cannot unilaterally address the issues around the education of our kids. So we are working. We’ve already had a lot of meetings with the Legislature, with the Michigan Department of Education, with our experts on the front line, superintendents and teachers, to make sure that we have a thoughtful solution.”

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