Shared-Time Agreements and Public Act 130
Under Section 166b of the Michigan State School Aid Act, MCL 388.1766b, a public school district or a public school academy is authorized to provide public school teachers to nonpublic schools to teach nonessential curriculum under shared-time arrangements. A public school district in which the nonpublic school is located has the first opportunity to provide shared-time services to the nonpublic school for a specific school year.
Under Section 166b, a nonpublic school was to submit a written request to the public school district, in which the nonpublic school is located, on or before March 1, for the following school year. The public school district had until May 1, to provide a written reply that it would provide some or all of the requested instruction. If the nonpublic school submitted a request after March 1, then the public school district had 60 days in which to provide a reply. If the public school district rejected all or part of the request, or if the public school district made no response to the request, then the nonpublic school could ask a public school district in the contiguous public school district to provide the instruction for the specific school year. The nonpublic school still had to provide the public school district in which the nonpublic is located the first opportunity to provide shared time services for each subsequent school year.
On May 15, 2012, Governor Snyder approved Public Act 130, which amended Section 166b. This new law took immediate effect.
Public Act 130 makes two key changes. First, if a public school or public school academy rejects a request to provide shared-time instruction, then the nonpublic school does not have to submit a subsequent request to the public school district in which the nonpublic school is located. Once a public school rejects a request for shared-time instruction, then the nonpublic school is free to engage another public school district to provide the shared-time instruction without the need of returning in the future to request the permission of the public school in which the nonpublic school is located.
The second change expanded the number of public school districts that can provide shared-time instruction if the resident public school district rejects a nonpublic school's request for shared-time services. As noted above, if a public school district rejected a request, then the nonpublic school could engage a public school district in a contiguous school district in order to provide shared-time services. Now, the nonpublic school can engage a public school district in a district that is located in the same intermediate school district as the district in which the nonpublic school is located or is located in an intermediate school district that is contiguous to that intermediate district.
Since Public Act 130 contained no language specifying that it applied retroactively, Public Act 130 applies prospectively from May 15, 2012. Public Act 130 will alter the legal landscape for shared-time arrangements. If you have questions regarding this new public act, contact your Clark Hill educational law attorney.