Whitmer expands COVID-19 grants for teachers

By Allison Donahue, Michigan Advance

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), Head Start, adult education and young adult special education classroom teachers are now eligible to receive up to $500 grants under a new expansion of the MI Classroom Heroes COVID-19 grant program.

“The MI Classroom Heroes COVID-19 Grants are just a small token of our gratitude to educators for going above and beyond during the pandemic,” Whitmer said. “When COVID-19 hit, teachers worked around the clock to quickly transform from in-person teaching to remote instruction to ensure that their students could continue learning. It is simply the right thing to do to expand these grants to include all specific program teachers across the state.”  

A state budget appropriation signed by Whitmer at the end of 2020 provides $2.5 million to expand eligibility for the MI Classroom Heroes COVID-19 grant program. 

These teachers are able to receive up to $500 for extra hours worked and costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the state in March 2020.

To receive the grant money, specific program teachers must have performed at least 75% of their standard instruction workload in brick-and-mortar classrooms before moving to remote instruction on April 2, 2020.  

Under the Teacher and Support Staff COVID-19 Grant Programs – the first two grant programs under the MI Classroom Heroes COVID-19 Grants umbrella – more than 138,000 K-12 teachers and support staff payments were sent MI Classroom Heroes Grants checks. More than $51 million is being distributed to eligible K-12 public school teachers and support staff and nonpublic school teachers.   

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