Leading Democrats, Public Health Voices Call for End of School Closures – Gretchen Whitmer Silent

LANSING, MI – Democrats, Republicans, and public health experts across the nation are calling for a return to in-person learning and are opposing devastating school closures by bureaucrats in response to COVID-19 case rates, but Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer still refuses to stand up for Michigan’s kids.

Across the state of Michigan, an estimated 95,000 children – primarily minority students – are currently locked out of their classrooms by union bosses and school bureaucrats while Governor Whitmer stands silent. 

According to reporting today by the Detroit Free Press: Michigan students of color disproportionately affected by COVID-19 school closures

“The major Michigan school districts that decided to shut down in-person classes in the new year serve higher populations of students of color, particularly Black students, according to a Detroit Free Press analysis… The latest round illustrates deepening and persistent inequities in school closures.”

Whitmer has refused to speak publicly on the latest round of school closures targeting students of color, setting her woefully apart from other prominent Democratic politicians and public health leaders. Instead, she invited students to participate in a coloring contest.

“The only scientific difference between New York City and Detroit is the New York mayor just won an election, while Gov. Whitmer is terrified of the teachers unions in an election year,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “Last year, Whitmer vetoed money for parents to send their kids to open schools and hire tutors. She should immediately open schools and support scholarships for additional learning or finally allow parents the funds to send their kids to open schools. The children of Michigan deserve an education that works for them, not Whitmer’s coloring contest distraction.”

Among those speaking out forcefully to oppose locked classrooms:

Doctor Anthony Fauci: “If you look at the safety of children with regard to infection, we have most of the teachers, an overwhelming majority of them are vaccinated.  It’s safe enough to get those kids back to school, balanced against the deleterious effects of keeping them out.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D): “We want to be extremely clear. The safest place for our children is in a school building.  And we are going to keep our schools open.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D): “We saw a three-fold increase in the number of failure rates among elementary school children not only that we heard from parents how disruptive that remote learning was to their lifestyles.”  ‘Chicago Public Schools are safe for students.’

David Leonhardt, The New York Times: “Bottom line: For the past two years, large parts of American society have decided harming children was an unavoidable side effect of Covid… Data now suggest that many changes to school routines are of questionable value.  Some researchers are skeptical that school closures even reduce Covid cases.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer: *silence*

In 2021, Governor Whitmer vetoed reading scholarships and Michigan Opportunity scholarships that would have put funds in the hands of parents, enabling them to help their students recover from learning loss as a result of her school shutdowns, and helping them send their students to open schools.

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.