Going into the 2020-21 school year, one of the biggest challenges facing schools is how to meet attendance, days and hours requirements with so many unknowns. In an effort to give schools some much needed certainty, MASSP together with State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and leaders from several of Michigan's education associations formulated a request for legislative changes in current law regarding these outstanding pupil accounting issues. The changes outlined in this letter would require legislative action before they can become law, but with session days scheduled in both July and August, the Michigan Legislature is in a position to take action on these recommendations before school starts.
Specifically, the letter calls for the state to:
- Stabilize the pupil count for next school year by using the 2019-20 pupil count. This will allow districts to plan ahead knowing their pupil count and not facing uncertainty about fall enrollment and whether students will be in attendance on count day.
- Waive the requirement to provide 1,098 hours of instruction since accounting for a specific number of hours during remote instruction is not feasible.
- Waive the requirement for daily attendance, which not only addresses the challenges posed by remote instruction, but eliminates the need to ensure 75% of students are in attendance in order to count a day of instruction.
Whether the Michigan Legislature will take up these proposals is uncertain, but MASSP and other education leaders are actively working to iron out the pupil accounting challenges that schools will face this fall, whether or not the straightforward solutions proposed in this letter are adopted.
As always we will continue to keep members updated as these issues progress.
Written by Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director