Michigan Chamber of Commerce Calls for Governor to Appoint State Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors supports an amendment to the state constitution to give the governor authority to appoint the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and members of the governing boards of the University of Michigan (U-M), Michigan State University (MSU) and Wayne State University (WSU) with the advice and consent of the State Senate.

Under the Chamber's proposal, the State Board of Education would be abolished.

"We appreciate the commitment and service by elected members of the State Board of Education, U-M, MSU and WSU," said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Jim Barrett. "However, as it relates to the State Department of Education, we believe every governor -- Democrat or Republican -- should have the opportunity to appoint his or her leadership team. In fact, under the present state constitution, this is the case with 14 departments in the executive branch of state government.

"While the legislature is to be commended for considering proposed amendments to the state constitution to address education governance, the resolutions under consideration in the State House and Michigan Senate simply do not go far enough," Barrett concluded.

The Michigan Chamber Board of Directors is also calling for direct gubernatorial appointment, with advice and consent of the Senate, of the university governing boards at U-M, MSU and WSU.

"This proposal eliminates needlessly partisan elections for these university boards," said Robert LaBrant, Senior Vice President of Political Affairs for the Michigan Chamber. "Michigan's other 12 public universities all have governing boards who are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Michigan Chamber is a statewide business organization which represents more than 6,500 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process.

SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Jim Barrett or Robert LaBrant of Michigan Chamber of Commerce,

Web site: http://www.michamber.com/