Senate approves bills to cut red tape for schools

Zorn measure included in 14-bill package

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would greatly reduce red tape for Michigan public school teachers and administrators, said Sen. Dale Zorn, who sponsored a bill in the package.

“As a small business owner, I understand the frustration of unnecessary red tape,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “In business and education, the result is the same: lost time and money. These reforms would allow more valuable school resources to go into the classroom and enable teachers to focus more time on helping our students learn and succeed.”

Senate Bills 754-767 would eliminate unnecessary and duplicative reports and streamline reporting requirements. Zorn’s bill would repeal a provision regarding student personality tests.

The legislation has been widely praised by statewide education leaders as helping schools redirect their attention to the important task of educating students.

“I applaud Senator Zorn for supporting these bills that will benefit schools and ultimately the students. Repetitive mandatory reporting has been a source of frustration for many in recent years,” said Onsted Community Schools Superintendent Mark Haag. “Less time spent on this means more time we can spend working with teachers and children to enhance their educational experience.”

Michigan school districts are mandated to prepare and submit hundreds of reports to state and federal entities. Education reporting requirements are sprinkled throughout Michigan law — not just in the state’s education code. The reports can be time-consuming and tedious to produce and are often redundant or even obsolete by the submission date.

“Getting an education is critical for every Michigan child, and our teachers should be able to direct their energies to teaching our students — not filling out burdensome paperwork,” Zorn said. “Removing this wasteful and restrictive red tape will help improve the academic success of all Michigan students, and that’s what’s best for our children and our state.”

SBs 754-767 now head to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.

###

Sen. Dale Zorn congratulates Gandee brothers for completing 111-mile walk to Michigan Capitol

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn congratulated Hunter and Braden Gandee for completing their six-day, 111-mile walk from Temperance to the steps of the Michigan Capitol on Monday in an effort to raise awareness of cerebral palsy.

“Two years ago, I walked with the Gandee brothers as they began their journey, and on Monday I walked the final leg with them to the Capitol,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Throughout their journey, these two young men and their families have touched the lives of all that got the chance to know them. The Gandee brothers have brought new meaning to the age old song, ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.’”

Braden is nine years old and has cerebral palsy. He was carried by his 16-year-old brother on the trek for all but the last half mile. Braden walked the final stretch with a walker.

The brothers were greeted at the Capitol steps by Zorn, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and other supporters.

This was the brothers’ third and final “Cerebral Palsy Swagger” together. They made their first trek two years ago when Hunter carried Braden 40 miles from Temperance to Ann Arbor.

###

Editor’s note: The above photographs are available by clicking on the images or by visiting Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.

Zorn applauds business incubator funding for Lenawee Now

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn announced on Tuesday that Lenawee Now will be able to better help provide support and development services to area start-up technology companies thanks to a Business Incubator Program Award.

“Start-up companies need access to capital to grow, and this funding will help local tech entrepreneurs succeed,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “By helping innovative new businesses in our area thrive, we are also helping support continued economic growth and job creation — and that is outstanding news for Michigan families and workers.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) awarded Lenawee Now, formerly known as the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation, $190,000 over two years for a new staff member who will be responsible for working with technology-based companies in the new Adrian/Tecumseh SmartZone.

The new gatekeeper will work with companies to navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including assisting with Business Accelerator Fund and Pre-Seed applications.

Lenawee Now is one of five nonprofit or university organizations awarded a total of $800,000 on Monday by the MSF to provide business incubator services to early stage technology companies and institutions for commercializing competitive edge technologies.

###

Sen. Zorn to hold a coffee hour in Temperance on May 6

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct a district coffee hour in Temperance on Friday, May 6.

Coffee hours are open to residents to express their opinions or concerns about state government or to request assistance with a state issue.

The coffee hour will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at DaCapo Coffee, 7370 Lewis Ave. in Temperance.

“I am holding this local coffee hour in order to help provide residents a convenient opportunity to meet with me in person,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “My aim is to provide the best service possible for the hardworking people of the 17th District. I look forward to continuing a regular series of meetings throughout the district and hearing directly from constituents in one-on-one discussions.”

To respect other patrons of the restaurant, no town-hall style discussions will be entertained. No appointment is necessary.

Residents who are unable to attend the coffee hour may contact Zorn’s office at (517) 373-3543 or via e-mail at SenDZorn@senate.michigan.gov.

###

Sen. Zorn to hold April coffee hours in Monroe and Morenci

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct district coffee hours in Monroe and Morenci on April 15 and 22.

Coffee hours are open to residents to express their opinions or concerns about state government or to request assistance with a state issue.

“I am holding these local coffee hours in order to help provide residents a convenient opportunity to meet with me in person,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “My aim is to provide the best service possible for the hardworking people of the 17th District. I look forward to continuing a regular series of meetings throughout the district and hearing directly from constituents in one-on-one discussions.”

The Monroe coffee hour will be held on Friday, April 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Agua Dulce Coffee & Tea, 17 W. 1st St.

The Morenci coffee hour will be held on Friday, April 22 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Village Inn Restaurant, 121 W. Main St.

To respect other patrons of the restaurants, no town-hall style discussions will be entertained. No appointment is necessary.

Residents who are unable to attend the coffee hours may contact Zorn’s office at (517) 373-3543 or via e-mail at SenDZorn@senate.michigan.gov.

###