Flint, MI – During a May 23 visit to Flint, Governor Gretchen Whitmer introduced a plan to expand tutoring and other learning supports across the state.

The proposal, entitled “MI Kids Back on Track,” calls for a $280 million investment from the state’s recently announced $3 billion in additional revenue, to address students’ unfinished learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The MI Kids Back on Track program would double down on tackling unfinished learning by investing in what our kids need most,” Whitmer said. “For lots of kids, this means extra personalized instruction, like tutoring, which is a critical tool for parents to help their kids get caught up and on the right track after a tough few years.”

According to a press release on the plan, MI Kids Back on Track will build on federal resources already provided to schools under the American Rescue Plan Act, by adding state resources to bolster tutoring programs. The plan will also help schools process background checks for potential tutors and pay them.

“In a tutoring setting, students get help from a caring, qualified adult who is focused on their specific learning challenges,” Whitmer said. “Whether you’re a third grader learning about the solar system, a sixth grader getting better at fractions, or a junior sharpening persuasive writing skills—tutoring makes a difference. If we get this done, we can offer every student in Michigan—all 1.4 million of them, the extra help with a qualified tutor.”

Whitmer also called upon her audience to take part in the proposal, noting that “tutoring programs only work if we have tutors” and asking residents to join the effort “to get our kids back on track.”

Paul Gaudard, Superintendent of Kearsley Schools, also spoke at the announcement event.

“It’s no secret that the last few years have presented unprecedented challenges for students, educators, and parents across our state. We are fortunate in our district to have added multiple additional positions to support student recovery efforts, including additional counseling staff and academic interventionist positions,” Gaudard said. “Despite these supports, we know more assistance and resources are needed. I am hopeful that we can continue to work collaboratively and creatively with all stakeholders to ensure our students’ road to recovery is as quick as possible.”

More information on the program, including tutor registration, can be found here.

Kate Stockrahm

Kate is Flint Beat's business and nonprofit reporter. She joins the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered...