Oxford Foundation Michigan

McLellan To Pop Draft School Aid Act Rewrite

Originally posted by MIRS News

In his endeavor to advise Gov. Rick SNYDER, long-time Lansing attorney, political consultant and Chair of the Michigan Law Revision Commission, Richard McLELLAN told MIRS he expects to post a preliminary draft of a revised School Aid Act in the next few days.

The state’s School Aid Act is the annual funding appropriations bill that provides for how some of the $14 billion in state K-12 spending is doled out, what it can be spent on, and how it’s divvied up.

McLellan told MIRS during a taping of the MIRS Monday Podcast that the rewrite has two Snyder-driven purposes. The first is to change the allocation of school dollars so they reward school performance.

“Under the present law we pay school districts, charter schools and others simply for having students in their classrooms for 1,080 hours a year,” McLellan said. “There are no payments that are related to the performance of schools. He [Snyder] wants us to look for ways based on actual performance.”

Second, the Governor wants the state’s School Aid Act to help accomplish his education reform mantra of “any time, any space, any place, any way.” In other words, how can the state allow students to learn at a time, a place and a pace that works best for them?

McLellan got involved in advising the Governor back in April of 2011 following Snyder’s education address.

At the time, California billionaire Eli BROAD, who’s a graduate of Detroit Public Schools and Michigan State University, was asked to advise Snyder on how to help Motown schools. McLellan was asked to provide a Michigan legal and political roadmap to Broad.

Broad made his breakthrough fortune in the early 1960s by building Detroit tract housing and eventually bought the family-owned Sun Life Insurance Corporation that he ultimately sold for $18 billion.

McLellan said his effort at collecting input on a School Aid Act rewrite has had transparency amongst its objectives. The preliminary draft bill will be posted online along with all the input he’s received from various interest groups and communities affected by school funding. It can be found here.

As part of McLellan’s work with Snyder, he also helped draft legislation sponsored by Rep. Lisa Posthumus LYONS (R-Alto) that would dramatically open up school options.

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