Gov. Whitmer announces grants for teachers and support staff

Michigan News

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at Beech Woods Recreation Center, in Southfield, Mich., Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) — On Tuesday, Governor Whitmer and State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks announced that eligible Michigan teachers and support staff who worked additional time and incurred additional costs during the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic can receive a grant through two new grant programs.

Under both the Teacher COVID-19 Grant and the Support Staff COVID-19 Grant programs, eligible teachers can receive up to $500 and eligible support staff can receive up to $250.

The state of Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget provides $53 million for eligible K-12 classroom teachers and $20 million for eligible support staff.

“Our teachers and support staff have made incredible sacrifices this year to ensure our kids can get a great education while Michigan fights the COVID-19 pandemic. They deserve all of the support we can give as we continue working around the clock to keep Michigan families safe,” said Governor Whitmer.

“My administration will continue working hard to protect our educators and ensure our kids are learning the skills they need to grow this year. And as we continue to fight this virus, remember to mask up, maintain six feet of physical distancing, and get your flu vaccine.”

“Teachers and support staff have put in the extra hours and time to ensure our children receive an education during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Eubanks said.

“We need to support our school employees as they continue to support our students and families during the pandemic. I thank them for all they are doing in these extraordinary times.”

To help combat the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Whitmer on April 2 signed an executive order that suspended in-person instruction of K-12 students and provided limited and temporary relief from certain requirements so K-12 instruction could continue through alternative methods during the public health crisis.

Teacher COVID-19 Grant Program

The Teacher COVID-19 Grant Program was created in state law to recognize the additional time and additional costs classroom teachers in a school district or nonprofit nonpublic school spent to ensure learning continued when in-person instruction was suspended in the spring. 

Full- and part-time classroom teachers who taught K-12 students in a school district or nonprofit nonpublic school classrooms during the 2019-2020 school year prior to the suspension of in-class activities are eligible.

To receive up to $500, teachers must have performed at least of 75% of their standard instruction workload in brick and mortar classrooms during the last school year prior to the suspension of in-person instruction on April 2.

Support Staff COVID-19 Grant Program

The Support Staff COVID-19 Grant Program was created in state law to recognize the additional time eligible K-12 support staff spent outside of normal working hours, hazardous conditions encountered and additional costs incurred to provide services to students when in-person instruction was suspended in the spring.

School support staff includes a full- or part-time paraprofessionals, aides or noninstructional staff who work in a public school, which includes local and intermediate school districts and public school academies.

To receive up to $250, individuals must have performed at least of 75% of their workload in brick and mortar buildings during the last school year prior to the suspension of in-person instruction on April 2.

Additional Grant Program Information

The Michigan Department of Treasury is working with the Michigan Department of Education, school entities and other education partners to implement the programs. Eligible teachers and support staff should consult the school entity where they worked during the 2019-2020 school year to ensure they receive a grant.

Grant funding checks are anticipated to be sent directly from the state Treasury Department to teachers and support staff in February 2021.

For more information about the grant program, including frequently asked questions, go to www.michigan.gov/TSSC19Grants.

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