LANSING, Mich. — The state would create a new panel to make recommendations on consolidating public school services if legislation discussed Thursday by the House Education Committee is adopted.

Within 18 months of its formation, the 13-member School Services Consolidation Commission would have to produce a report on consolidation of non-instructional services at the local, regional or state level, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

Don Wotruba, deputy director of the Michigan Association of School Boards, told the committee that "there's a lot of good things going on" in shared services, MIRS reported. Chris Glass, public policy coordinator of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, said the panel should avoid "one-size-fits-all" recommendations, according to MIRS.

House Bill 6488 was introduced by Rep. Tim Melton, D-Pontiac.

Tom Goodwin, chief financial officer at Grand Ledge Public Schools, said that while he's neutral on the bill, the panel should study complete district consolidation as well, MIRS reported.

SOURCE:
Michigan Information and Research Service Inc., "Committee Talks About Bureaucracy-Cutting Commission," Sept. 23, 2010 (Subscription required)

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School District Consolidation, Size and Spending: An Evaluation," May 22, 2007

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