Proos: State superintendent grants seat-time waivers

LANSING–In response to a letter from lawmakers, State Superintendent Michael Flanagan has granted seat-time waivers allowing school districts to implement dropout recovery programs for the 2011-2012 school year, said Sen. John Proos.

A seat-time waiver enables pupils to do schoolwork without attending the school facility.

“Seat-time waivers help us help students who are struggling or have given up,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Students who have dropped out of school often respond very well to the alternative instruction allowed through the waivers. The students in southwest Michigan deserve this opportunity.”

Online learning is the primary method of instruction used by seat-time waiver programs.

Courses taken under a waiver must be approved by the school district’s local board of education or academy’s board of directors and must generate credit toward the pupil’s high school diploma or grade progression in order to count toward the pupil’s membership. Course content must be aligned with the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations or Michigan Merit Curriculum.

“The out-of-school youth in our communities must be re-engaged,” Proos said. “Granting these waivers to school districts helps achieve that goal. It was a necessary step to enable districts to implement dropout recovery programs this fall.”

Proos signed the letter for Decatur Public Schools. He joined 13 other lawmakers in sending the document.

Gov. Rick Snyder, Decatur Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Libby Goodwin, and six other school superintendents were copied on the letter.