Senate approves bills to cut red tape for schools

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Zorn measure included in 14-bill package

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would greatly reduce red tape for Michigan public school teachers and administrators, said Sen. Dale Zorn, who sponsored a bill in the package.

“As a small business owner, I understand the frustration of unnecessary red tape,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “In business and education, the result is the same: lost time and money. These reforms would allow more valuable school resources to go into the classroom and enable teachers to focus more time on helping our students learn and succeed.”

Senate Bills 754-767 would eliminate unnecessary and duplicative reports and streamline reporting requirements. Zorn’s bill would repeal a provision regarding student personality tests.

The legislation has been widely praised by statewide education leaders as helping schools redirect their attention to the important task of educating students.

“I applaud Senator Zorn for supporting these bills that will benefit schools and ultimately the students. Repetitive mandatory reporting has been a source of frustration for many in recent years,” said Onsted Community Schools Superintendent Mark Haag. “Less time spent on this means more time we can spend working with teachers and children to enhance their educational experience.”

Michigan school districts are mandated to prepare and submit hundreds of reports to state and federal entities. Education reporting requirements are sprinkled throughout Michigan law — not just in the state’s education code. The reports can be time-consuming and tedious to produce and are often redundant or even obsolete by the submission date.

“Getting an education is critical for every Michigan child, and our teachers should be able to direct their energies to teaching our students — not filling out burdensome paperwork,” Zorn said. “Removing this wasteful and restrictive red tape will help improve the academic success of all Michigan students, and that’s what’s best for our children and our state.”

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