Lansing board considers downsizing itself

LANSING, Mich. — Shorter terms and fewer members are two ideas the Lansing School District Board of Education should consider, some board members said at a recent retreat, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Board member Myra Ford, re-elected to a six-year term in November after previously serving from 1980 to 1992, said a four-year term might attract more candidates, the Journal reported.

She also brought up the idea of downsizing from nine members to seven, according to the Journal. Both moves would bring Lansing in line with other mid-Michigan districts, though larger districts like Flint and Grand Rapids also have nine-member boards, the Journal reported.

A longer term gives board members more time to learn the overall operations of larger districts, Robert Ebersole, assistant legal counsel for the Michigan Association of School Boards, told the Journal.

He said it's possible a smaller board might be more efficient, though a larger board could be seen as bringing more viewpoints to the table, the Journal reported.

Lansing State Journal, "Lansing school board member says board terms should be cut," Aug. 2, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "The proper role of a public school board," June 21, 2010