Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she was “dismayed” to see a memo sent to local school districts by the Michigan Department of Education on Friday.

The memo informed districts that online instruction offered while K-12 schools in the state are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic won’t count toward their state-mandated instructional requirements.

“There is no mechanism to earn instructional time during a period of mandated school closure,” the memo said.

Students are required to receive 1,098 instructional hours per year under Michigan law.

The memo also informed districts that the department will not be granting seat time waiver requests.

The Michigan Department of Education reports to the state board of education, not the governor.

Whitmer signed an executive order closing all K-12 schools in the state through April 5 to stop the spread of COVID-19, but has said the closures may have to be extended.

“We are going to work to make sure that kids are getting the instruction, or the equivalent of an instruction, as needed so that they can finish this year having gotten the education that they’re supposed to get,” Whitmer said.

Stacie Clayton, the chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, said in a statement Friday that state must ensure equity for all K-12 students in Michigan – something that online instruction could potentially complicate.

“As we work to educate our students in a time of crisis and uncertainty, we must do everything we can to ensure all students have the resources they need, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity, any disability they may have or the zip code where they live,” said Clayton.

The first two presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan were confirmed on March 10. Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Michigan the same day and has since issued executive orders to close schools and restaurants and to limit the size of gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The number of confirmed cases in the state reached 549 as of 10 am Friday, including 215 new confirmed cases since Thursday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Three people in Michigan have died from the virus.

Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a freelance reporter covering politics and policy in Michigan. Andrew is a journalism student at Michigan State University and first started covering politics during the 2016 presidential...

One reply on “Whitmer “dismayed” online instruction won’t count toward learning requirements”

  1. I think that this a diseaster really to happen and it did we as people of this world or country we shouldn’t have to worry anything but we do cause everyone is very scary,and what next we gotta worry bout beening force out our home to be hurt or to shot for no reason at all,we as people don’t know what to believe ,money suppose to be give to us how really truthful that,it’s been so many lie told our country, I’m disabled I can’t work I have Preceactic Cancer and type health problem is the people on SSI is going to receive the same check,or that’s a lie to,I just wanna know the honest God truthful, this President just don’t know what he is to this country we all gotta fail cause of his mistake he made ,and he trying to clean it up with a little money to try keep the calm that’s not going to settle down minute how can we spend the money if everything is closed where not getting any food coming in or out,so how long we get keep or have to give back,we can’t spend it no where cause everything close up ,And one thing I understand is that rich don’t have worry anything because they are oligation to get it free , but we have to pay to live and except what they hand to like dog so dog get the leftover and that’s not right we as people help y’all get where y’all today,and I never seen no compassion and for others and its ? to feel that way bout government, I just ??that we it through this crisis safe Amen and to the Most High ????????

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