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Whitmer holds back-to-school call with educators

Michelle Kondrich for NPR

Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed school principals and educators today as they get ready for a return to full-time in-person learning.

The governor delivered her remarks online. She acknowledged record per-student funding, and money for recruitment and retention may not be enough to reverse staff shortages that began before the issues created by COVID-19.

"We've known this day was coming and it's only been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic," she said.

The K-12 schools budget — adopted with wide bipartisan support — also has more money for mental health services, at-risk programs, and infrastructure improvement. But the governor, without offering details, said there is still more work to do to support teachers, staff, and students as they return to classrooms.