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April 30, 2021

In This Update:

Summary

This week, Gov. Whitmer announced the MI Vacc to Normal Challenge, a plan to guide the easing of gathering restrictions and face mask requirements tied to the vaccination rates of Michiganders. The day before, MDHHS Released Guidance for Prom and Graduation. We will continue to update you on both issues as things change or as details are made clearer.

Budgets started moving in both the House and the Senate and we are working on a more thorough analysis of the details, but you can catch our video update from last week for a high-level overview.

Next week is the May election and many of you have ballot proposals before your community. Good luck on Tuesday! 

As always, please contact MASA with any questions or concerns. 

Supplemental Updates


House

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. 


Senate

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. 

Committee Roundup

House Education 

The House Education heard testimony on the two bills below. 

HB 4063 – Reilly (R-Oakland Twp.) Amends the Youth Employment Standards Act to allow a minor’s parent or legal guardian to issue and revoke a work permit for employment in qualifying occupations if the minor is being homeschooled. Currently, the chief administrator of the minor’s school district, intermediate school district (ISD), public school academy (PSA), or nonpublic school or a designee of the chief administrator issues minor work permits. 

HB 4074 – Brann (R-Wyoming) Encourages a school board to ensure that a district’s social studies curriculum for grades 9 to 12 includes a program of instruction in free enterprise and entrepreneurship. The bill outlines requirements for the instruction. 

There were similar versions of both bills last session. 
 

Senate Judiciary 

The Committee heard testimony on a package of bills that has been before the committee in previous sessions regarding sexual assault. Within that group of bills is SB 223 sponsored by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), which requires MDE to develop informational material relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment appropriate for pupils in grades 6-12 and make that available to schools. The bill requires schools to make this information available to students but does not propose adding or revising existing curriculum. Additionally, the bill encourages public schools to provide sexual assault and sexual harassment response training to all educators and school personnel who had contact with pupils. 

Federal Update from AASA

U.S. Department of Education Releases Interim Final Rule on American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funding  

As a requirement for receiving the remaining American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, the U.S. Department of Education will be requiring local education agencies to develop and submit to state education agencies a plan for the use of the ARP dollars as well as how they will ensure a safe return to school learning environment for students and staff. AASA has a full summary of the details on the Interim Rule. 

The U.S. Dept. of Education Releases Maintenance of Effort Guidance 

This week, the U.S. Dept. of Education released Guidance on Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Requirements and Waiver Requests under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. 

This guidance document includes the following: 

  • A chart outlining the main similarities and differences between the MOE requirements in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act). 
  • Frequently asked questions about the MOE requirements and the process for States to request a waiver under section 2004(a) of the ARP Act. The Department’s approach to waiver requests will be rooted in consideration of the impact on students. The purpose of ESSER I, ESSER II, GEER I, GEER II, ARP ESSER, and Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program funds is to expand resources for K-12 and postsecondary schools and students, not to replace existing State commitments to K-12 and postsecondary education.  
  • An MOE worksheet describing how to calculate MOE under the CARES Act, the CRRSA Act, and the ARP Act. 
  • The MOE submission form that each State must use to report MOE data for the CARES Act, the CRRSA Act, and the ARP Act. 
  • The MOE request form that a State must use when requesting a waiver of the MOE requirements.   
The Department will soon release guidance on the new State and local educational agency (LEA) maintenance of equity requirements in section 2004(b) and (c) of the ARP Act.

This Week's Introduced Bills

HB 4714 (Lilly) Exempts qualified community land trust property from school operating mills.  

HB 4734 (Marino) Proposes expanding the annuity option for public school employees. 

HB 4728 (Bollin) Exempts high school commencement ceremonies from emergency orders issued to control an epidemic. 

SB 390 (Schmidt) Provides funding for and use of Michigan Education Corps. 

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