On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee made changes to their supplemental proposal. HB 4421 allocates a combination of the federal COVID relief dollars from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA).
On a positive note, the H-2 version of the bill removed the tie-bar to HB 4082. As we updated you last week, the introduced bill tied most of the funding in the supplemental to the Governor’s signature of HB 4082, a bill that limits the amount the State Administrative Board can transfer to $200,000. We are pleased to see the removal of this tie-bar.
The House did, however, add a 20-hour in-person instruction requirement for districts in order to receive a per-pupil equalization payment. In Sec 11 r(10), the House proposes a per-pupil equalization payment for districts that receive less than $1,093 per pupil through the ESSER III formula grant. Equalization payments equal the district's pupil membership multiplied by the difference between $1,093 and the district's ESSER III formula payment per pupil. For districts that have an ESSER III award that qualifies for an equalization payment, they must offer at least 20 hours of in-person instruction for a 5-day school week by May 10. Again, to be clear, this in-person offer requirement is only for those districts who qualify for an equalization payment.
In the other chamber, the Senate also made changes to their version of the supplemental SB 216. An important point of clarification is that the Senate is only appropriating dollars from ESSER II and does not include funding from the American Rescue Plan.
On Wednesday, the Senate reported their supplemental bill from committee. Major changes included a revision of the summer school programing requirements to now require at least 30 hours of research-based or innovative learning geared toward the children in the program. You may be familiar with the previous requirement in the bill that summer school be an eight-week, in person program – both provisions were removed.
We were successful in lobbying for another revision in the bill that allows school of choice students to be eligible for summer programs.
The Committee also adopted an amendment proposed by Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) that states the requirement for 20 hours of in-person instruction for the ESSER II equalization payment does not apply to districts whose boards of education adopted or adopts a public health order closing schools for public health reasons to protect public health or to any district that closed or closes schools due to a local public health order.