State subsidy to support schools | News, Sports, Jobs


MARQUETTE – Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Tuesday that schools are recruiting and hiring 560 additional school psychologists, school social workers, school counselors and school nurses with funding from the Fiscal Year 2022 State School Aid Act.

“The pandemic has reminded us that mental and physical health professionals in schools are not a luxury”, Whitmer said in a statement. “Healthy students – physically, mentally and socio-emotionally – learn better. Having trained professionals in school buildings helps our children get the support they need so they can thrive in the classroom and beyond.

Children need academic, social, emotional and physical support, both in and out of school, State Superintendent Michael F. Rice said in a statement.

“School communities across the state appreciate this essential budgetary investment for the new fiscal year 2022 negotiated between the governor and the state legislature,” Rice said. “This $ 240 million is the start of the academic support required for the mental health and physical needs of our children.

Tina Kerr, executive director of the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, said in a statement that the health and well-being of Michigan students continued to be a top priority for MASA and its members.

“Today more than ever, our students need access to these services, and there is no better place than in our schools to provide them” Kerr said. “We are very happy to see this important funding going to districts across the state so that they can hire the key staff needed to support our students.”

In the FY2022 budget, Whitmer and the Michigan legislature worked together to allocate $ 240 million to increase the number of school-based professionals to support students’ mental and physical health, the governor’s office said.

To date, 210 school districts have applied for a grant to hire 562 staff, including 60 school psychologists, 226 school social workers, 146 school counselors and 130 school nurses. The grants help districts hire staff and gradually move from fully funding positions with public funds in the first year to fully funding positions with local funds in the fourth year.

The application period is still open and all districts are eligible. Districts can view frequently asked questions and submit their applications by visiting Michigan.gov/MDE. Districts must hire staff by March 1 to qualify.

Nessel joins the coalition

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Monday that she had joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general urging the federal government to take action to help borrowers by addressing failures in implementing mortgage restructuring programs to secure that those most financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can pay off their mortgages. and stay at home.

During the pandemic, the Federal Housing Administration has helped needy borrowers stay in their homes by implementing pause and no-pay programs, the attorney general’s office said. The agency has implemented COVID-19 recovery loss mitigation options to help borrowers who were unable to pay the cost of their mortgages before the pandemic as well as arrears accumulated during forbearance .

These programs aim to help families reduce their principal and interest so they have affordable monthly mortgage payments that allow for a sustained and stable financial recovery – especially for low-income households, new homeowners, and households of color. disproportionately affected by the pandemic, the attorney said the general’s office.

All FHA-insured loan lenders were required to implement these programs by October 21.

In a letter from District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine to the FHA, attorneys general specify that several mortgage loan officers employed and approved by the FHA have “Not implemented adequately” the FHA COVID-19 Recovery Modification, as well as other COVID-19 relief programs to support borrowers.

Letter Alleges Mortgage Services on FHA Insured Loans routinely send borrowers letters that do not include the COVID-19 recovery modification as an available option, require documentation, and impose unnecessary qualifications under FHA guidelines , and inform borrowers during customer service phone calls that this option does not exist.

He also says that as the US Treasury Department approves homeownership assistance fund distribution programs across the country, it is “critical” that the FHA ensure that agents notify borrowers and assess them for a loan modification.

“HAF should be a fund of last resort and should not replace maintenance workers’ obligations to assess owners for all loss mitigation options,” the letter reads.

The letter calls on the FHA to ensure that its approved mortgage departments and employees take the necessary steps to implement the FHA COVID-19 recovery amendment in its entirety.

“At a time when so many people face persistent financial hardship, we need to give the assurances provided to those in difficulty,” Nessel said in a statement. “I join my colleagues in urging our federal partners to verify the successful implementation of this vital program.”

LMAS adds cases

The Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft district health department reported in a Facebook post Monday that 65 cases of COVID-19 have been added in LMAS counties since December 22.

“Not much for a five day period, but more than expected over the Christmas holidays with little testing going on”, the post reads. “For now, put on a mask, get vaccinated / refilled (if you haven’t already) and stay home when you are sick.”

The health department reported that there were 666 cases in the four counties between December 1 and Monday, with 560 cases considered cured and nine deaths.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is [email protected]

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