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Statement in regard to Governor Snyder's Executive Order 2015-9

The State Board of Education today unanimously adopted the following Statement in regard to Governor Snyder’s Executive Order 2015-9.

Statement by the State Board of Education
Regarding Governor Snyder’s Executive Order
Transferring the State School Reform/Redesign Office
From the Dept. of Education to the Dept. of Technology,
Management and Budget

The State Board of Education is deeply concerned about Governor Snyder’s recent decision to transfer oversight of the State School Reform/Redesign Office from the Department of Education to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The Constitution of Michigan of 1963 states “Leadership and general supervision over all public education, including adult education and instructional programs in state institutions, except as to institutions of higher education granting baccalaureate degrees, is vested in a state board of education. It shall serve as the general planning and coordinating body for all public education, including higher education, and shall advise the legislature as to the financial requirements in connection therewith.”

The Constitution of Michigan of 1963 further states, “The state board of education shall appoint a superintendent of public instruction whose term of office shall be determined by the board. He shall be the chairman of the board without the right to vote, and shall be responsible for the execution of its policies. He shall be the principal executive officer of a state department of education which shall have powers and duties provided by law.”

The framers of the state Constitution were clear in their intent to vest oversight of Michigan’s public education system with a publicly elected board that would appoint a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The reasons for such are as relevant today as they were in 1963. Decisions affecting the educational environment, from school safety to effective learning environments and health and well-being, should be directed by those with expertise in effective education policy, not by individuals or government departments with no expertise in educating children. 

The State Board of Education opposes any effort to diminish the Constitutional authority of either the State Board of Education or the State Superintendent.

We believe that the Executive Order 2015-9, signed by Governor Rick Snyder on March 12, 2015, violates the State Constitution by stripping the State Superintendent of his/her authority to execute the policies of the State Board of Education. We respectfully request that the Governor reconsider this action and restore the Reform/Redesign District to the direct supervision of the State Superintendent.

Approved March 17, 2015