Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer introduced the MI Kids Back on Track, a plan to expand tutoring and other learning supports across the state. The proposal would invest $280 million of Michigan’s $3 billion in additional revenue to tackle unfinished learning after a tough few years with tutoring or other forms of personalized instruction before, after, or during school.
“The MI Kids Back on Track program would double down on tackling unfinished learning by investing in what our kids need most,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “For lots of kids, this means extra personalized instruction, like tutoring, which is a critical tool for parents to help their kids get caught up and on the right track after a tough few years. In a tutoring setting, students get help from a caring, qualified adult who is focused on their specific learning challenges. Whether you’re a third grader learning about the solar system, a 6th grader getting better at fractions, or a junior sharpening persuasive writing skills—tutoring makes a difference. If we get this done, we can offer every student in Michigan—all 1.4 million of them—extra help with a qualified tutor. But tutoring programs only work if we have tutors. I am calling on my fellow Michiganders who want to see our kids succeed to join the effort to get our kids back on track.”
“Our schools have been amazing, but the disruption of the pandemic continues to have an adverse impact on students,” said Beth Hulett, Parent and PTA state board member. “I’m grateful to Governor Whitmer for investing more time, energy, and resources in education to ensure all students have the supports they need to succeed and thrive.”
“It’s no secret that the last few years have presented unprecedented challenges for students, educators, and parents across our state. We are fortunate in our district to have added multiple additional positions to support student recovery efforts, including additional counseling staff and academic interventionist positions,” said Paul Gaudard, Superintendent of Kearsley Schools. “Despite these supports, we know more assistance and resources are needed. I am hopeful that we can continue to work collaboratively and creatively with all stakeholders to ensure our students’ road to recovery is as quick as possible. I am excited about Governor Whitmer’s MI Back on Track Program and welcome support to help our kids succeed.”
“There are times when students need more instruction than the typical school day. After school tutoring and enrichment programs are a great way to meet that need. I have had the opportunity to run several afterschool programs,” said Rachel Huiskens, 5th grade teacher at Fiedler Elementary. “Tutoring was a chance for me to build a special relationship with kids who need extra support and personalized instruction. The impact I saw on children from those programs included social, emotional, cognitive, and academic growth. After school programs such as these provide a safe, supportive environment for students to learn, grow and build relationships. I look forward to Governor Whitmer’s MI Back on Track Program, and seeing the impact it will make for the kids in Michigan.”
MI Kids Back on Track
Governor Whitmer’s MI Kids Back on Track plan would invest Michigan’s additional revenue to help students catch up and get on track for long-term success after a tough few years. Michigan schools have already received federal resources from the American Rescue Plan specifically to address unfinished learning. MI Kids Back on Track would build on this funding with state resources to bolster tutoring programs. The plan will help schools process background checks for potential tutors and pay them.
Michiganders who want to join the effort can sign up here.
Governor Whitmer’s Education Investments
For three years straight, Governor Whitmer has worked across the aisle to make the largest education investments in Michigan history—without raising taxes. Since taking office, she’s tripled the number of literacy coaches and last year, she signed an education budget that closed the funding gap between schools, boosted per-student investment to an all-time high, and helped districts hire hundreds of on-campus mental health professionals.
The Governor’s education budget proposal for this year, includes the highest per-student investment ever, $1 billion for school construction and renovation, funds to hire and retain 15,000 teachers, and more resources for on-campus mental health support.
The Whitmer-Gilchrist administration’s education accomplishments can be found here.