State Board of Education Wants Constitutional Clarity on MiLEAP
Michigan State Board of Education Press Release LANSING – The State Board of Education (SBE) today directed State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice to request a Michigan attorney general’s opinion to provide constitutional clarity on the creation of a new Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential (MiLEAP).
The unanimous SBE’s action today seeks the attorney general’s opinion on how the board’s constitutionally secured authority over all public education in Michigan may be affected by an executive order to create MiLEAP.
MiLEAP was created through an executive order (E.O. 2023-6) by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in July. One of the stated purposes of this E.O. is to build “an education system from preschool through postsecondary that can support our kids, families, and the economy of the future by ensuring anyone can make it in Michigan.”
Further, the E.O. states that “MiLEAP will establish and implement a statewide vision for life-long education from preschool to postsecondary. Its responsibilities include expanding equitable access to quality, affordable programs and services and improving outcomes for all Michiganders in early learning and care and higher education.”
Given that the Michigan Constitution vests in the SBE “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,” and notes that the State Board of Education serves “as the general planning and coordinating body for all public education, including higher education,” the board motion stated today that “there appears now to be potentially two departments with overlapping authority over “all public education,” particularly preschool public education.
The State Board of Education approved the motion on an 8-0 vote.