May 7, 2020
Take Action: Tell Your Representative to Provide Emergency Funding for Family Engagement
Families and children need your help today! Please contact your Representative today to seek emergency funding for family engagement in the next COVID-19 relief package. Now, more than at any other time, families are critical and primary to the success of their children.
With many schools across the nation closed for the remainder of the school year and stay at home orders still in place across the country, homes have become the classroom and parents have become surrogate teachers, responsible for their children’s learning. While these building closures have placed more challenges on parents, the long-term ramifications of lost instructional time, the waning of parent and educator relationships and the need for compensatory education when students return to school make clear the need for both immediate and long-term investments in family engagement through the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program.
As the U.S. House of Representatives moves quickly on their next relief bill, they must recognize the important role of parents and families in a child’s education and boost funding for the SFEC program.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress has passed four major pieces of legislation to provide relief to families and the U.S. economy. On March 6, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (Phase 1), which allocated $8.3 billion of aid to the United States’ public health response to COVID-19.
On March 10, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Phase 2), which provided relief for both employers and employees who were affected by COVID-19.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law S. 3548, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Phase 3), a $2.2 trillion bailout and stimulus package to aid industries suffering from the pandemic and provide economic relief to families and small businesses who are suffering.
Bill 3.5: On April 24, 2020, the President signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (the “Enhancement Act”) into law. This bill is the fourth coronavirus emergency relief bill and is called ‘3.5’ because the bill largely provides additional dollars for several key programs in the CARES Act, ‘3.0.’ This supplemental relief package includes $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, $75 billion for health care providers (supplemental to previous $100 billion in the CARES Act), and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.
Bill 4.0: Following passage of bill 3.5, the drafting of and negotiations for 4.0 proposals will gain steam. The next emergency relief package is expected to be more comprehensive, and many members of Congress hope to make this the last coronavirus relief package. It is the focus of issues which have not been addressed in the previous relief bills, new areas of relief, possible technical corrections to earlier action, and many members hope to include their pre-pandemic legislative priorities. This relief package could see action during the first half of May.
National PTA is asking Congress to address four key areas in the next COVID-19 relief package, referred to as “C-4” or the “fourth relief bill,” – 1) family engagement, 2) remote learning, 3) support of students with disabilities and 4) child nutrition.
You can write to your elected officials about these and other bills using our Take Action Network.
House Bill 5629: Would require MDHHS, in coordination with local health departments, to develop a model pandemic preparedness plan to assist governmental entities.
House Bill 5630: Would establish coronavirus reporting requirements, definitions, and coverage of the uninsured.
House Bill 5631: Would create the Pandemic Outbreak Fund, which would be dedicated to addressing costs and act as a reinsurance to help cover wage loss.
House Bill 5632: Would require Medicaid coverage, at no out-of-pocket expense, of costs associated with the coronavirus, including treatment and testing, wage loss, medications, vaccines, and hand sanitizer and face masks.
House Bill 5633: Would require private insurance coverage, at no out-of-pocket expense, of costs associated with the coronavirus, including treatment and testing, medications, vaccines, and hand sanitizer and face masks.
House Resolution 242: Urges Congress and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to provide financial support to our state to assist us in combating the coronavirus.
On April 2, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-35 (COVID-19) Provision of K-12 education during the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
This executive order, EO 2020-35, was issued for the safety of school children and communities. Its major function ends face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. The order suspends, temporarily, in-person instruction of K-12 students and provides limited and temporary relief from certain restrictions and requirements so that K-12 education may continue by the best alternative means possible.
To read the full Executive order https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-524032--,00.html
Local Unit and Community PTA Leaders should contact the Michigan PTA Advocacy Committee if they would like a more in-depth conversation on EO 2020-35 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan PTA Statement in support of EO 2020-35 COVID-19
The Michigan PTA issued a statement supporting the Governor’s Executive Order. To read the statement https://www.michiganpta.org/covid-19-resources-for-families.
Michigan PTA Recommendations to Local and Community PTA/PTSA Leaders across the state
Friday, April 3, 2020 Michigan PTA held a statewide conference call for PTA/PTSA leaders across the state of Michigan. Key recommendations from that call to PTA/PTSAs are:
The plan for continuing education will now be at the local school district level with each school district creating their own unique plan to be approved by their Intermediate school district superintendent. The plan must be completed and implemented by April 28, 2020. PTA/PTSA can be an important part of this process and the following recommendations have been made to local PTA/PTSAs across the state of Michigan:
This is a health care crisis and safety is the most important thing. Be patient that everyone is working to the best solution possible.
PTA/PTSAs can centralize questions and ideas to our school districts to reduce the volume of individuals reaching out to stakeholders. Contact Michigan PTA is you need suggestions or training how collect this information.
OPEN your communication to PTA/PTSA members and non-members on requesting for input on the school district plan, information received from the school district, and COVID-19 information. PTA will share tools for leaders to collect this information and provides FREE broadcast email to all PTA/PTSAs in the state.
PTA/PTSAs need to establish a connection to the district superintendent and set up a communication channel. Find out how you can best help your local superintendent and school district.
Parents, families may be looking for information PTA/PTAS can help. They may be requesting information on lowering stress, additional enrichment, making connections – local PTA/PTSAs can help distribute that information. Look to the Michigan PTA and National PTA and your community to provide information to share to families in your community.
We anticipate that EO 2020-35 will continue to raise questions. Michigan PTA is continually working to address your issues and provide information to units and councils. We are having ongoing conversations with the Governor’s Office, the Michigan Department of Education, and other education association stakeholders.
If you have specific questions, please send them to the following.
Marcy Dwyer-Advocacy or governmental questions, more information on the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-35, advocacy recommendations PTAPTSAs should implement now email email@example.com
Jennifer Johnson- Student Involvement & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion questions and committee join inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracey Troy- General PTA questions from Unit and Council Leaders to email@example.com
If you are a parent or community group and your school does not currently have a PTA. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We can assist in creating a PTA/PTAS group to help children, teachers, administrators at your schools in your community.
This will be a difficult time for educators, families, and our children. Working together, in collaboration with educators and families, we can address the resources in our communities and make each district’s plan successful for their students. We will need to support our school staff and our families as we navigate distance learning and devise new ways to acknowledge accomplishments and share memories for the remainder of this school year.
We, the Michigan PTA, stand ready to support our educational administration, superintendents, principals, teachers, families, and students as we go forward during this pandemic. The mission of Michigan PTA is to mobilize the forces of school, home, and community in order to ensure a quality education and nurturing environment for every child. Every Child, One Voice.