Bills would cut unnecessary red tape for schools

A dozen Senate Republicans, led by Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, introduced legislation this year to reduce red tape for schools.

Senate Bills 754-767 are vitally important because the hundreds of reports that Michigan school districts are mandated to prepare and submit to state and federal entities can be time-consuming and tedious to produce and are often redundant or even obsolete by the submission date.

Education reporting requirements are sprinkled throughout Michigan law, not just in the state’s education code, and these reports are costly, often taking a great deal of staff time and resources.

The bills would eliminate unnecessary and redundant reports and streamline reporting requirements. This will direct valuable school resources toward the classroom — rather than Lansing — and provide educators with more time to focus on student achievement.

Superintendents across the state have applauded the legislation.

“This package of bills will empower schools by eliminating barriers to improving student achievement,” said Warren Consolidated Schools Superintendent Robert D. Livernois. “By eliminating unnecessary and redundant reports, local schools can spend more time helping teachers teach and kids learn.”

The bills are before the Senate Education Committee, which has heard testimony in support of the legislation.

Brad Biladeau, the Michigan Association of School Administrators associate executive for government relations, said that “this is something our members have been concerned about for quite some time. There are more reports than there are school days for school districts. We’ve heard from school districts that have hired or designated individuals whose sole function is to respond to these state and federal reports.”

If passed and signed into law, SBs 754-767 will enable teachers to spend more time and energy doing what they were hired to do: teach their students. And that will improve education throughout Michigan and enrich the lives of all Michiganders.