Looking at the needs of school districts in the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 19:32:57-05

(WXYZ) — In tonight's 7 UpFront report we're taking a closer look at the needs of school districts in our state during the pandemic.

Part of Governor Whitmer's proposed 2022 budget includes $14.7 billion or the school aid fund budget, a $203 million base for per-pupil funding. That includes $14.1 million for economically disadvantaged students, special education, and kids in rural districts.

Supplemental appropriations for this year would include $125.7 million to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on students, $55 million for clean drinking water in facilities, and $125.7 million for the emergency education relief fund.

The Superintendent of Wayne Regional Educational Service Agencies Dr. Randy Liepa is joining us to talk about it.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"Really, right now, what you see are school starting to transition into some level of back to normal," Liepa says. "It's been a remarkably difficult year for school districts. They've had to learn how to do virtual learning, face-to-face hybrid learning. They've been adjusting curriculums, implementing new technologies, and putting in safety protocols all during this time in a very challenging and changing environment, literally on a weekly basis, so what we see now are school districts that are really starting to look ahead. And we know that our students have struggled during this time, and so now they are starting to think about learning recovery, and that's the big thing that we're thinking about, both with the federal dollars that the state has that we're looking forward to them getting rid of and getting to us in the local school districts, and also next year's school budget."