Whitmer Locked Students Out Of Classrooms; Allowed Unions And Bureaucrats To Keep Schools Closed For 3 Consecutive School Years

LANSING, MI – Today, the Michigan Freedom Fund condemned Governor Gretchen Whitmer over her sanctimonious attempt to rewrite history over her deliberate closures of Michigan schools.

Over the weekend, Gretchen Whitmer tweeted, “Kids belong in schools. That’s why my administration made sure that schools were able to open safely for in-person learning, because we know that students learn better in classrooms.”

But rather than fighting to open schools, Governor Whitmer closed Michigan schools TWICE – first in Spring of 2020 for the remainder of the school year, then again November 2021, and after that urged them to go remote again in April 2021. For the third consecutive year, many school districts closed again leaving over 95,000 studentslocked out of classrooms. At one point, Flint Schools said they would close indefinitely while parents struggled to keep up.

The state legislature passed bills to help students recover from learning losses resulting from school closures, but Whitmer vetoed those reading scholarships and opportunity accounts. 

“For three consecutive school years, Michigan students have suffered emotionally and academically because of Governor Whitmer’s school closures and ridiculous bureaucratic rules and restrictions,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “Whitmer closed schools multiple times and sat idly by while unions and bureaucrats kept them shut down for months more. Whitmer vetoed reading scholarships and opportunity accounts that would have given families the resources to help students struggling with learning loss and mental health issues. Whitmer’s brazen attempt to rewrite history is an insult to the parents and students who face long-term damage as a result of the governor’s shutdowns, mandates and education vetoes. Parents and families will not be fooled by the Governor’s attempt to establish her own Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’ to rewrite history.”


  • Whitmer shut down schools in March, 2020 for the remainder of the school year and again in November, 2020.
  • Whitmer’s orders kept Michigan students trapped in virtual learning for months, contributing to academic learning loss and a mental health crisis.
  • Despite billions of dollars in COVID funding meant to help schools open safely, nearly 95,000 students were locked out of classrooms at the beginning of 2022.
  • Detroit public schools remained closed for six weeks, and Flint schools closed “indefinitely” while Whitmer refused to stand up for students.


  • Over the course of the pandemic, some children have lost up to a year of academic progress.
  • More than half of Michigan students between 1st and 3rd Grade are deficient in reading.
  • Some Michigan schools have had to lower their graduation requirements.
  • One in four parents say their adolescent students have seen a mental health specialist.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics reports increases in anxiety and depression among youth.


  • In July, 2021 Whitmer vetoed reading scholarships that would have given students access to tutors and resources to help them learn to read.
  • In November, 2021 Whitmer vetoed opportunity accounts that would have provided families with funding for tutors, transportation, textbooks, or tuition at open schools.
  • In January, 2022 the Michigan Democrat Party posted that parents shouldn’t have a say in their students’ education.
  • Parents across Michigan have launched a petition drive to overturn Whitmer’s veto of opportunity accounts.

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.