Whitmer Roundtable with Novi School Community Mental Health, Focus on Teacher Retention
NOVI, Michigan — On Wednesday, August 24, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Novi area parents, students and staff discussed ways to recruit and retain K-12 teachers while addressing student mental health. The focus was on how to better support them.
The roundtable will be part of her administration’s back-to-school tour, which will focus on returning students to their standard academic routines after more than a year of disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a fairly informal event, Whitmer and Novi’s Superintendent of Public Schools, Ben Mainka, led a discussion with general questions about school safety and education funding, which were answered by members of the roundtable.
A large part of Wednesday’s conversation was about mental health and physical safety, with the school shooting at Oxford High School last year being a frequent mention in the 30 minutes the group got together. The two high schools are nearly 40 miles apart, but students and parents should stop saying the November 2021 shooting of student Ethan Cranbury, who killed four of his classmates, still weighs heavily on them. did not.
Whitmer was urged to acknowledge that while Congress has allocated some funding to expand school safety measures, more funding should be expected to be presented to Congress this fall. I got
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Earlier this year, Congress gave the OK to a supplementary budget bill of about $37.3 million. This increased funding for Oxford schools to his $9.8 million, plus a $15 million pot and a $12.5 million pot for statewide grants for school security assessments. was established. Statewide grant for critical school mapping.
Whitmer said Congress “left a lot of money on the balance sheet during the negotiation process to help districts strengthen their infrastructure,” and some of that money — about $7 billion in all — went to that She also added that gun safety, including secure storage and more stringent background checks, is a necessary element of this conversation.
“These are the things I want to accomplish,” said Whitmer. However, it is very important that we do our jobs safely, keep our children safe, and make our facility a safer place. ”
Mainka also made a point of praising the recently passed state education budget at the top of the roundtable. In particular, the investment in the school’s mental health support for both students and staff, and the funds allocated for school safety.
Earlier this year, the state approved an education budget of more than $22 billion. This also allocated her $9,150 per student investment, the largest ever per student in Michigan. An increase of $450 per child increased her total costs by $630.5 million year-over-year.
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Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mainka said the school was “undersupported” in the areas of mental health and school safety, and touched on the need for additional infrastructure funding for schools across Michigan.
“I think post-Oxford anxiety has become a relevant topic, so we’re addressing it in a number of ways,” Mainka said. I think it’s really surfaced, not just the excitement of being able to enter the building, but the feeling of being safe… …we need to continue to make strategic investments as a system.”
He, too, said firearm safety is a necessary part of the overall conversation in addressing mental health issues and enhancing student and staff safety in schools, and as gun owners themselves , told MLive it was reasonable to expect firearm owners to handle their weapons in a safe and responsible manner.
Whitmer said at a press conference, “So many people from so many different perspectives are coming together today to discuss children’s mental health, the needs of education workers and public safety around keeping children safe in schools. I’m really grateful to you for giving me this,” he said following the event. “These are all related.”
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