Senate committee begins hearings on bills to cut red tape for schools

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Education Committee heard testimony on Tuesday on legislation that would reduce red tape for schools.

Sen. Phil Pavlov and other Senate Republicans introduced Senate Bills 754-767 last month to eliminate unnecessary and redundant reports and streamline reporting requirements.

“Educators must be freed to spend more time focusing on student achievement and less time wading through red tape and duplicative reporting requirements,” said Senate Education Committee Chairman Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “This package of bills eliminates unnecessary reporting and directs resources back to the classroom.”

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. These reports are costly, often taking a great deal of staff time and resources.

Brad Biladeau, the Michigan Association of School Administrators associate executive for government relations, testified in support of the legislation.

“I want to recognize Senator Pavlov for his leadership in assisting school districts with burdensome reporting requirements. This is something our members have been concerned about for quite some time, and we’re very appreciative the committee is willing to take up the issue and look at it,” Biladeau said. “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.”

The following organizations indicated their support of the bills at the committee:

•    Macomb ISD;
•    Michigan Association of School Superintendents;
•    Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals;
•    Tri-County Alliance for Public Education;
•    Oakland Schools;
•    Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators;
•    Wayne RESA;
•    West Michigan Talent Triangle;
•    Grand Rapids Public Schools; and
•    South Central Ed Policy Consortium.