Panel would study service consolidation

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.

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

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