Governor Whitmer announces plan for Michigan schools Thursday

News conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Posted at 5:07 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 11:03:21-04

(WXYZ) — Right now in Lansing the legislature, the Governor and the Department of Education are working out the details on a plan for schools during the COVID-19 crisis.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Michigan) told 7 Action News she will make the announcement officially on Thursday, answering questions about her plan for students in Michigan.

“Recently me and my friend had a crying session,” said Brittani Thomas, a high school senior at Oak Park High School.

She says she is wondering if she will see friends she grew up with in person before she leaves for college at Albany State in Georgia where she plans to work towards her goal of becoming a physical therapist. She is heartbroken that she won’t get to experience so many traditions.

“Prom and graduation. We have really, especially my class at my high school, we have been through a lot,” she said.

She says her class planed to honor a classmate, Cameron Moore, who lost his life this school year. Last week the governor said it is unlikely school will resume this school year.

We have heard tentative details from sources that schools will be allowed to provide remote learning that works for their district, that high school seniors will be allowed to graduate and teachers will be paid. The governor is not yet sharing details.

“We want to make sure we get it right. So things that are being reported unless they are coming from me, take it with a grain of salt,” said Governor Whitmer.

The Superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools Kenneth Gutman says he is focusing on what schools can do. His district has distributed thousands of meals to students in need and is providing remote learning opportunities.

“My biggest concern is, how do we take care of those children who don’t have access to technology or have it sporadically? How do we take care of children with special needs? How do we take care of those children living in poverty?” he said of the issues he hopes the governor’s plan will address.

There is an on-line petition calling for the decision to cancel the rest of the school year to be delayed. Superintendent Gutman says if doctors and experts are saying a delay is needed, a final decision serves children.

“It is certainly easier to plan when you know what is going to happen long term, so in my opinion having a long term plan with set parameters would be more helpful, whatever it is,” he said.

As for the high school senior who desperately wants to return to school says she says she understands why she can’t.

“My cousin, she is in the hospital now with the virus,” said Thomas.

Her cousin’s health is improving, but the virus is serious and too close to home.

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