These are the big Michigan education issues we’re watching in 2023

A student smiles sitting at a desk in a brightly lit classroom
Some districts are betting that tutoring programs like this one in Ecorse will help students accelerate their learning after test scores fell this year. (Sylvia Jarrus for Chalkbeat)

COVID may no longer be forcing schools to shut down, but its effects on students, teachers, parents, and administrators will linger into 2023.

Issues related to the pandemic figure in nearly every one of the top education issues for 2023. So do issues related to a power shift in Lansing, where Democrats will hold the governor’s office and control the Michigan Legislature for the first time in decades. This shift, thanks to a blue wave in the November general election in Michigan, could produce big changes on issues such as charter school transparency, the state’s third-grade retention law, and school funding.

“This is a legislature that could do a fair bit in a bipartisan fashion, because I think most of (what we need) is not partisan,” said state Superintendent Michael Rice, recently. “I think much of this is common sense.”

Here are the topics we’ll be closely following:

Chalkbeat Detroit bureau chief Lori Higgins contributed to this report.

Tracie Mauriello covers state education policy for Chalkbeat Detroit and Bridge Michigan. Reach her at tmauriello@chalkbeat.org.

Koby Levin is a reporter for Chalkbeat Detroit covering K-12 schools and early childhood education. Contact Koby at klevin@chalkbeat.org.

The Latest

Here’s an updating list of who is running in Chicago’s school board elections on Nov. 5.

At least three dozen people have shown interest in running for Chicago’s elected school board. Candidates must now submit official paperwork to get on the November ballot.

The Colorado university has opened up FAFSA services for any student or family with college plans, regardless of where they want to go to college.

Rachael Mahmood, the Illinois 2024 Teacher of the Year, focuses on creating lessons that affirm her students’ identities and interests.

The bill bans schools from putting students in classrooms that are 88 degrees or hotter. The impact in NYC could be limited since schools have air conditioning.

Lina Zapta is an educator at North Star Academy’s Washington Park High School, where the English learner turned Spanish teacher works to make her classroom ‘a space of trust and comfort.’