MacGregor: Senate approves plan to cut schools’ ‘red tape’

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday acted to reduce bureaucratic “red tape” by voting to end burdensome reporting requirements schools currently must complete.

Each year, 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.

If signed, Senate Bills 754-767 would eliminate unnecessary and redundant reports and streamline the overall reporting requirements.

“We have been working to ensure more resources make it to our state’s classrooms so educators can more effectively do their jobs,” said Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, who sponsored SB 762. “Unfortunately, these reporting requirements often stand in the way of that. By reforming the reporting process, we can reduce the burden on our schools and teachers so they can focus on instructing our students.”

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.

The plan has received widespread support, especially from local district leaders.

“There is an extensive amount of paperwork involved with completing these reporting requirements, and that takes an extensive amount of human resources,” said Wyoming Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reeder. “Even with the help of technology, over the years more and more has been added to the requirements, which has made the process unnecessarily redundant and caused even more work. Those redundancies should be repealed. What we need is a reporting system that efficiently accomplishes these tasks while providing effective data to guide smart decisions.”

The bills, which were introduced in February and previously approved by the Senate Education Committee, now go to the state House of Representatives for consideration.