Michigan Had Longest School Closures In The Nation; Parents Were Attacked For Wanting Classrooms Open

LANSING, MI – Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MEA) started locking Michigan students out of their classrooms in 2020 and sat idly by as school closures left nearly 100,000 students out of class at the beginning of this year. Now, a new report reveals the devastating consequences of Whitmer’s school closures and failure to get students back into class. 

Many parents saw firsthand the dire consequences of school closures and advocated for their children to return to class. Instead of listening to parents, some districts collected dossiers on parents and even got a mom fired from her job – simply for advocating for schools to open. The Michigan Democrat Party also joined in by declaring that parents should not have a say in their children’s education. 

Today’s report is not the first time data showed how devastating the Whitmer lockdowns and prolonged closures were to children. In August of 2021 data showed “dramatic declines” in Michigan student’s test scores and at the start of 2022 data showed students who were forced remote “learned less than those who were in classrooms” and yet Whitmer allowed school closures to continue for nearly 100,000 students. 

To make matters even worse, Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed reading scholarships, opportunity scholarships, and refused to demand that closed schools open, despite them receiving millions of dollars in federal COVID relief meant to keep kids in the classroom. 

“Even the Biden administration is blaming draconian school closures like Gretchen Whitmer’s (D-MEA) for the record decline in students’ math and reading scores,” said Michigan Freedom Fund executive director Tori Sachs. “Whitmer mandated and allowed the longest school closures in the nation to appease radical teachers’ unions knowing the devastating impacts it would have on students. When Whitmer got the opportunity to give parents reading scholarships to help kids catch up, she vetoed them at the behest of the unions. It’s time to set students free from the selfish teachers’ unions and give every family a choice in their education.”

The analysis from the U.S. Department of Education shows that math scores among 9-year-old students declined by 7 percent, and reading scores fell 5 percent – the biggest drop in 30 years. US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the drop in test scores was connected to the lack of in-person education following school closures like those imposed by Whitmer.

The Michigan Freedom Fund works to advance conservative ideas, hold our government accountable to taxpayers, and protect Freedom, opportunity, and workers’ Constitutional rights. For more information, please visit MichiganFreedomFund.com.