Michigan K-12 Leaders Look for More Time to Spend Federal Money

Michigan K-12 school leaders met virtually on Tuesday to discuss how they hope to use the $1.6 billion given by the federal government for education across the state.

They stressed the most was giving out the money as soon as possible so schools can have time to plan future projects and adapt to the everchanging environment created by COVID-19. One of their biggest concerns is addressing learning loss in students.

Superintendent of St. Clair County Regional Education Service Agencies, Dr. Kevin Miller said they need to distribute the money now so that schools can get an idea of what kind of programs they’ll be able to implement. “The hiring and training of tutors or additional learning coaches, plan for summer learning or extended year learning,” he said. “All of those conversations are happening right now so we need the funding to follow that.”

Michigan schools will have 15 months to spend the money. “If anybody is looking at doing any kind of facility work as it relates to air systems in their schools, that works takes months and months and months of planning,” said Dr. Randy Liepa, Superintendent of Wayne Regional Education Service Agencies. “That doesn’t happen overnight. And so school districts that are doing any kind of major renovation have to have time to prepare to do that.”