The state Senate has scheduled an unusual Saturday session for this weekend, and while nothing is yet certain, early indications are that the goal will be to pass measures related to the return to school this fall.
Less clear is whether the agenda will include bipartisan solutions to pandemic-related challenges or partisan schemes that use the health crisis to push privatization.
This afternoon the Detroit Free Press reported that negotiations were reportedly continuing between House and Senate GOP leaders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and House and Senate Democratic leaders to address issues surrounding the student count and days & hours requirements, among other issues.
However, if talks aren’t successful, that could lead the Senate instead to take up the Republican-sponsored “Return to Learn” plan.
Last month, the House passed a series of bills (HBs 5910-5913) that contained concerning provisions to allow outsourcing of teacher services for virtual classes and requiring teachers to work through the lunch hour to monitor students having lunch in the classroom.
It appears our lobbying efforts may be working—the latest intel is that these most onerous provisions have been losing traction in the Senate. But we are hearing that Republicans continue to press for other ill-conceived mandates. That’s why we need to keep up the contacts.
The Legislature has been in a 14-day quarantine since Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) announced he tested positive for the coronavirus. A scheduled House session on Monday morning appears to be slated for follow-up action on whatever passes the Senate this weekend.