State government has failed Michigan students. Do better. Now.

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When it comes to our kids’ schools and learning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her administration have spent the last 10 months flouting the science, ignoring the data, and acting against the advice of physicians, medical experts and the CDC.

As Whitmer and her team wilt under the weight of their catastrophically failed vaccine rollout (Michigan is ranked 40th in the United States for COVID-19 vaccine rate), there’s finally some good news for teachers and students.

Last week, the administration announced it’d finally be taking GLEP’s advice, and moving teachers to the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Whether they’ll actually be able to get the shots out of the freezer and into their arms is another question.) Then came word that the Governor will gently encourage schools to stop locking kids out of school and allow them to return – in March.

The failures we’ve witnessed over the last 10 months have had a catastrophic impact on Michigan students and families – particularly those in low-income communities. It’ll take years for students to overcome the damage the governor’s unscientific orders caused. Getting them safely back in the classroom is the first, important step on that long journey. It should happen today, not in 7 weeks.

Beth DeShone
Executive Director, Great Lakes Education Project

Michigan’s Big Show: Beth DeShone talks Schools with Michael Patrick Shiels
“We are excited to start the transition to get kids back in the classroom.”

Holland Sentinel: My Take: Offer teachers vaccine to stem Michigan education crisis
“Let’s treat teachers with an extra measure of respect, move them toward the front of the line, and offer them the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s an investment in their health, in schools’ safety, and in our children’s future.”

Governor Whitmer’s decision to lock students out of their classrooms has had a devastating impact on Michigan children, particularly those from low-income families. It will take years for students to overcome learning losses created by Whitmer’s unscientific lockdowns, instituted in conflict with the evidence and against the advice of physicians and the CDC.

The first critical step to meeting the needs of these students is to get them safely back in the classroom and unlocking school buildings is the right thing to do. It should be done immediately.

Meanwhile, teachers can only hope they’ll actually be able to receive their vaccinations, amidst the state’s disastrous rollout of the COVID-19 immunization.

State government has failed patients, workers, parents and students. It’s time to ask the question – what’s the next right thing to do. Opening school doors is a critical next step.

It’s not too late to speak out about school closures affecting your family.

Please visit today and send Governor Whitmer a letter telling her your student’s story. Encourage her to follow the science and the data and to open Michigan’s schools.