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New Law Says School Funding Will Depend On In-Person Instruction

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Beginning Monday, hundreds of Michigan school districts have to offer at least 20 hours a week of in-person instruction to receive their entire $450 minimum per-student increase in emergency pandemic funding.
The provision affects 206, or 38%, of the state's 537 traditional K-12 districts — those with higher numbers or percentages of children from middle-class and wealthy families.
Under federal law, the districts are due to receive a smaller share of nearly $1.5 billion in COVID-19 aid than are districts and charter schools with higher numbers or portions of poor students. The Republican-led Legislature allocated $136 million in state money to ensure hundreds of districts still can get at least $450 more per pupil, but it added a string.
They must provide at least 20 hours of weekly face-to-face instruction to qualify for the supplemental dollars. Districts that were not already doing so had less than two weeks to alter their schedule after the law was signed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Much of the federal aid, meanwhile, is in limbo because GOP lawmakers tied it to a bill that would have ceded the state's epidemic powers to close schools and prohibit sports solely to local health departments. The governor vetoed the legislation.

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