Friday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4206, which allows schools to forgo making up days from this winter’s record-cold emergency days. In particular, up to four days declared as a state of emergency between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2, 2019, can be requested by districts to the Michigan Department of Education to count as student instructional time for this year only. The exact language enacted can be viewed here.
While MEA supports Gov. Whitmer’s enactment of this bill, we remain concerned about the impact of this new law on hourly employees who could lose pay because these days are not made up.
“The fact is, school districts don’t need the Legislature to tell them what is right – they can make that choice for themselves,” MEA President Paula Herbart said in a news release last week. “With this legislation, districts will be receiving the same level of funding they were otherwise expecting – which means they have the money to pay these hourly workers what they would have made, without any budgetary impact. MEA is calling on all school districts to do the right thing for these workers and their families.”
In that release, MEA shared a draft letter of agreement that districts can enter into with their employees to pay them for these newly forgiven days.