Sen. Pavlov sponsors bill to empower school districts

LANSING—Legislation to empower local districts, foster innovation and relieve burdensome regulations was introduced in the Michigan Senate Thursday, said sponsor Sen. Phil Pavlov.

Senate Bill 131, sponsored by Pavlov, and SB 132, sponsored by Sen. Goeff Hansen, would allow local school districts to enter into an “Education Mandate Rollback Contract” with the Michigan superintendent of public instruction.

“Michigan schools should have some flexibility to employ creative methods of delivering superior education to our students,” said Pavlov, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “This ‘Ed Flex’ legislation will empower schools across the state to make decisions that best fit their students’ needs.”

The contracts would allow the state superintendent to waive many onerous state and federal education requirements, except those pertaining to health and safety, teacher certification and competitive bidding. The superintendent also would not be able to waive rules that undermine the underlying purpose of a program.

Contracts would apply to an entire school district or to specific schools and would normally not exceed five years, although contracts could be renewed if the state superintendent determined specific performance goals were met.

“I encourage my colleagues to support these vital measures,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Our schools shouldn’t be restrained by unnecessary regulations. They should have the ability to focus on the fundamental and critical task of educating our children.”

SBs 131 and 132 were referred to the Senate Education Committee for further consideration.