Panel would review school boundaries

LANSING, Mich. - A state representative wants to create an advisory panel to review public school district boundaries and recommend where consolidation or division makes financial sense, according to the (Oakland County) Spinal Column Newsweekly.

Rep. Fred Miller, D-Mount Clemens, said that House Bill 5561 would establish a non-partisan, temporary "School District Modernization Advisory Commission" similar to the advisory panels that recommended military base closings in 2005, Spinal Column reported.

The commission would consist of 15 members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate, each representing such stakeholder groups as parents, administrators, teacher unions, school boards, support staff, intermediate school districts and others, the report said.

"This (School District Modernization Advisory) commission is designed to take politics out of the discussion of school district boundaries," Miller said, the Spinal Column reported. "Some should be consolidated, some annexed, some perhaps even subdivided. We left it vague to allow the commission to set its goals. The key is the outcome, which is quality of education."

The bill, now in the House Education Committee, would require the panel to submit a report by Aug. 1, 2010.

(Oakland County) Spinal Column Newsweekly, "Lawmaker wants study on school district changes," Nov. 11, 2009

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

MichiganVotes, "House Bill 5561 (Establish school consolidation study commission)," Oct. 28, 2009