The policy objective of this provision is to prevent nonpublic schools from being subject to regulations that hinder learning, discourage and frustrate professional educators, increase operating costs, and have no bearing on the health, safety, or education of students.
Suggested language to protect against overregulation:
LIMITATION ON STATE REGULATION OF NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS.
THE LEGISLATURE SHALL NOT ADOPT ANY LAW IMPOSING REGULATIONS ON NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS OR THEIR PUPILS OR TEACHERS IN ADDITION TO THOSE IN EFFECT ON THE DATE THIS SECTION IS RATIFIED EXCEPT BY A VOTE OF TWO-THIRDS OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO AND SERVING IN EACH HOUSE.
Public school teachers and administrators agree that current Michigan regulations impose excessive mandated procedures, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements that hinder the education process and drive up costs. It is important that nonpublic schools are protected from this same overregulation while maintaining a safe and healthy environment in which children can learn.
This language establishes a supermajority voting requirement as used in other portions of the Michigan Constitution. It is probably not feasible to specify particular areas to exempt from state or local regulation due to the difficulty of identifying and defining all such areas. Broad language prohibiting "burdensome" or "onerous" regulations is vague, would leave the definitions to the courts, and would invite charges that such language would spawn a flood of litigation. The best alternative is to limit regulation to the contours of the current Nonpublic Schools Act and require that future regulatory proposals are sufficiently compelling that a supermajority of the Legislature supports their enactment. One reason that nonpublic schools are efficient and effective is that they escape many of the debilitating restrictions and regulations that public school teachers and administrators complain about. The Nonpublic Schools Act has provided a sufficient regulatory framework to date and will continue to do so.