Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order today creating a formal advisory council that will “advise the governor and make recommendations for legislation relevant to Michigan’s public education system.”
The Governor’s Educator Advisory Council will include 15 members appointed by the governor who will represent “various roles in Michigan’s public education system,” including the state’s Teacher of the Year, according to a press release.
“By creating the Educator Advisory Council, we can finally give [educators] a seat at the table so they can help develop public school policies that will help our students get the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs and thrive right here in Michigan,” Whitmer said in the release.
Educators and administrators both praised the move immediately, with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)-Michigan president David Hecker saying in a statement that “When talking about education policy, educators are the ones who have to execute those policies… For too long, educators and their unions have been left out of conversations of how we can improve our public education system — or worse yet, have been blamed for the problems facing it — and we’re thrilled to see Gov. Whitmer doing the right thing.”
Dr. George Heitsch, president of the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education (TCA) and superintendent of Farmington Schools, said that the council “will help put an end to poorly thought out policies being rushed through the legislative process and instead will ensure they are properly vetted by those who understand their impact best.”
The executive order creating the council is Whitmer’s 22nd order or directive since taking office in January.
It comes a day after the Republican-controlled state Senate voted to delay the implementation of controversial new evaluation standards for Michigan’s teachers.