News From the Capitol, April 9, 2021

2021-04-09 | Michigan Association of School Boards

  • Governor Urges Pauses Amid Rising COVID-19 Numbers
  • Join Us Virtually Behind the Scenes
  • Legislature Returns Next Week
  • Registration Now Open for NSBA's Advocacy Institute

Governor Urges Pauses Amid Rising COVID-19 Numbers

Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged Michiganders, especially schools and restaurants, to consider pausing activities that bring people face to face. She touted the vaccination rate in Michigan with five million vaccinations being administered by the end of the day today. Still, she cautioned that the number of people hospitalized with the virus continues to rise and is beginning to strain health care systems.

She stated that the rise in cases is a problem with the new variants, compliance and mobility. She urged Michiganders to take precautions against the virus seriously, strongly recommending the following for the next two weeks:

  • High schools return to remote learning
  • All youth sports, including high school, suspend team practices and games
  • Restaurants limit dining to outdoor or takeout
  • People opt for small, outdoor social gatherings with masks and limit the number of households

Again, these things are not mandated, just strongly recommended. We urge you to continue to work with your local health departments on the best actions for your communities and schools.

The announcement today does not change anything regarding testing for athletes, gathering limits or in-person board meetings. You can find more information on Michigan's response to the virus and vaccinations at Michigan.gov/coronavirus. All Michiganders age 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Join Us Virtually Behind the Scenes

This April we will be hosting a virtual Behind the Scenes at the Capitol event that will give board members a better understanding of the many issues being debated in Lansing and empower them to advocate on behalf of their districts. This spring's event will feature a legislative update from MASB Government Relations staff; a school aid budget update from the Senate Fiscal Agency; a presentation from the Telecommunications Association of Michigan on broadband access and expansion; tips on how to become a better advocate in the virtual world; and an opportunity to interact with members of the Michigan House and Senate.

The event is scheduled for Monday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. We hope you can join school board members from across the state and MASB staff to look into how things operate in Lansing. Registration is now open and we encourage you to sign up today!   

Legislature Returns Next Week

The House and Senate both adjourned on March 25 for a two-week legislative break. Both chambers will return to their normal session on Tuesday. We hope their focus will turn to preparing the 2021-2022 budget and distributing the remaining federal dollars. Once we have budget information to share, we'll be sure to pass it along. We urge you to continue to remind your legislators the new school fiscal year is quickly approaching.

Registration Now Open for NSBA's Advocacy Institute

The National School Boards Association's 2021 Advocacy Institute will be virtual from June 8 – 10. Registration is now open, and early bird pricing is available until April 30. NSBA is excited to provide this online experience focused on the nation's local school board members' issues and priorities. Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks and a new national poll on public schools will be released during the opening session.

Due to it being an online event, MASB will not be hosting its usual kick-off lunch. However, we are trying to coordinate a virtual event with Senators Stabenow and Peters to replace our typical breakfast. We hope you'll join school board members from around the country for this advocacy event.