- The Michigan House of Representatives met for a rare Monday session to take up the Senate-passed Return to Learn package as the state continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- During session, House Democrats offered a series of amendments similar to those offered by Senate counterparts, as well as several new education-related amendments.
- House Democrats’ new amendments seek to address non-COVID related issues important to educators, ensuring these issues are not sidelined due to the focus on restructuring school instruction during the pandemic.
LANSING, Mich., August 17, 2020 — As the Michigan House of Representatives took up the Return to Learn package during a rare Monday Session, House Democrats offered a series of education-related amendments on the House floor. The amendments sought to ensure important non-COVID issues remained included in the conversation as schools prepare to return to instruction this fall. State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) introduced an amendment to offer professional development to better equip educators to adapt to digital communication tools and strategies for online instruction.
“As we address the many questions and concerns COVID-19 poses for the upcoming school year, it’s vital for us to ensure teachers have access to the training they need to continue supporting our students, whether they’re teaching in a physical classroom or a digital one,” said Kuppa. “The amendment I offered would have paved the way for our state’s dedicated educators to be better equipped to teach remotely while combating bias that may occur in an online setting, acknowledging and addressing these needs at a local level. While the ongoing pandemic continues to change what ‘normal’ means for so many aspects of our lives, we must not forget our responsibility to fight for more equitable education in our state, and I will continue to do just that.”
Other amendments offered by House Democrats included:
- Funding statewide mental health and social-emotional learning support. (State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia)
- Funding to support educational programming on public television. (State Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit)
- Supporting the Early On program, allowing the existing program to reach more infants and toddlers through remote early intervention. (State Rep. Nate Shannon, D-Sterling Heights)