Senate approves Pavlov-led bills to cut red tape for schools

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate passed legislation Thursday that would greatly reduce red tape for public schools across Michigan.

Sen. Phil Pavlov, chairman of the Senate Education Committee and lead sponsor of the legislative package, said Senate Bills 754-767 would eliminate unnecessary and redundant paperwork and streamline reporting requirements.

“Red tape in any organization means wasted time and frustration, but this kind of bureaucracy for our schools — specifically the red tape of endless forms and reports — is even more serious because it takes away from learning,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Reducing these burdensome requirements means educators can spend more time focusing on student achievement.”

The legislation has been widely praised by statewide education leaders as helping schools redirect their attention to the important task of educating students. The Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) considers it a top priority for their membership.

“There are more reports than there are school days for school districts,” said Brad Biladeau, MASA’s associate executive for government relations. “We’ve heard from school districts that have hired or designated individuals whose sole function is to respond to these state and federal reports.”

Michigan school districts are mandated to prepare and submit hundreds of reports to state and federal entities. These reports 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. Unfortunately, there is no published comprehensive index to easily locate all mandated reports, and these reports are costly, often taking a great deal of staff time and resources.

“The bills we passed today direct valuable school resources toward the classroom rather than Lansing,” Pavlov said. “Educators will be able to spend less time on paperwork and more time teaching our kids.”

SBs 754-767 now head to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.