Gov. Whitmer hopes schools can reopen, forms advisory council

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday it is her “hope” that K-12 schools can reopen for in-person instruction in the fall and created an advisory council to recommend ways to ensure a safe and equitable return.

The governor, who closed schools in March to curb spread of the coronavirus, stopped short of saying schools definitely will be allowed to reopen in late August or early September. Students currently are learning remotely, though typically have much less classwork.

“I can (tell) you that it’s my hope that we will have some form of in-person instruction come the fall,” she told reporters. “Of course, it’s all going to be determined based on how many people keep wearing their masks, how many people keep washing their hands and staying away from crowds and observing 6 feet of distance. It’s dependent on how we perform in the interim.”

The Return to School Advisory Council will advise Whitmer and a COVID-19 education task force. It is charged with submitting recommendations regarding the “safe, equitable and efficient” return to school in the fall. The panel will look at how to improve academic support for students who fall behind this spring and summer.


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