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Education officials say continued funding, removing barriers is what they want from State of the State address

Posted at 9:08 PM, Jan 24, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fifth State of the State address and her first in this second term in office is Wednesday. It’s an opportunity to outline her policy priorities for the year.

According to officials in the education field, the top two issues out of many come down to removing barriers and addressing major costs.

“There's been investment. We've been able to begin several programs for kids to help them with recovering from learning and meeting some of their social and emotional needs. But I think those programs need long-term funding sources," said Erik Edoff, superintendent for L'Anse Creuse Public Schools.

In the last two years since the height of the pandemic, Michigan schools have seen historic levels of investment about $500 million in 2022, according to the governor’s office. But Edoff says removing barriers to education is a major undertaking.

“That means helping them with whatever issues they may have, whether it be academic issues, social issues, emotional issues, learning issues and all of those things take professionals," he said. "They take a large number of professionals to address those needs, and they are effective.”

Robert McCann the executive director of the K-12 Alliance of Michigan says one of the most effective ways to address those barriers is through one-on-one work with students.

“To gauge what’s working, what’s not working for them and give them those additional supports, but really that process starts with the opportunity to work with a child in a one-on-one setting," he said

Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State address is 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

RELATED | What advocates in 2 industries want to hear from Whitmer's State of the State address

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