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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Fiscal Accountability and School Consolidation

February 26, 2007
12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. 
Kellogg Center, MSU

"It is widely accepted that education is the key to economic prosperity" (MSBO, 1/31/07)  yet Michigan's school districts are facing the prospect of significant budget reductions and new demands for fiscal accountability.  As both public and private sector organizations struggle to maintain programs and services in these challenging economic times, state expenditures for K-12 education once again seem to be at the center of the policy debate.  Various proposals are currently being advanced to restructure school districts in an attempt to reduce overall operating expenditures. This session will explore several issues involving fiscal accountability and proposals to restructure the state's educational delivery system. We will explore as many aspects of "consolidation" as possible, including program and school district consolidation.


Resource Person:

[] Thomas White  (EPFP 1989-90)
Executive Director
Michigan School Business Officials
1001 Centennial Way, Suite 200
Lansing, MI 48917
twhite [at]

Tom White is the Executive Director of the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO). MSBO is a professional organization for school managers who work in the non-curricular aspects of a school district, primarily in the areas of finance, accounting, payroll, purchasing, facilities, technology, transportation and food services. Before coming to MSBO Tom worked for 9 years as the Director of Government Relations for the Michigan Association of School Boards. Prior to that he spent 9 years as a labor negotiator, negotiating more than 100 contracts with school employee groups over his career. He has also taught at a community college and worked in the field of medical economics. Tom is currently on several boards: he is vice-president of the Clinton County Regional Education Services Agency and president of the Michigan Institute for Educational Management Board of Directors. He is also a member of the following: the Michigan Liquid Asset Fund (an investment pool in excess of $1 billion), the School Employers Trust Property Casualty Fund, the Education Alliance of Michigan, and the Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative.  Tom has a M.A. degree from Michigan State University in Labor and Industrial Relations and a B.A. degree in social science. He completed two years of post graduate work in business at the University of Oregon.

"Technology Innovation & Economies of Scale."


Jamey Fitzpatrick (EPFP 1990-91)
President & CEO
Michigan Virtual University
3101 Technology Blvd., Suite G
Lansing, MI 48910
jfitz [at]

Jamey Fitzpatrick has served as a catalyst for change and a champion of innovation in public education.  As both an education and technology policy advocate, Mr. Fitzpatrick provides executive leadership for Michigan Virtual University, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.  Since joining MVU in 1998, Jamey has led two major statewide initiatives.
He led the initial design and development of the Michigan Virtual High School (MVHS) project, one of the largest virtual high schools in the United States.  Since 2000, over 26,000 students have enrolled in online high school courses through MVHS.  Another 150,000 students have taken advantage of one or more of the MVHS online test preparation tools. He has also planned, organized and led the implementation of the largest teacher-based deployment of technology in the U.S. known as the Teacher Technology Initiative (TTI), this $106 million program equipped nearly 90,000 Michigan K-12 educators with a personal computer, software, remote Internet access and Web-based professional development.  Jamey served as the Director of Educational Technology for the Michigan Department of Education, where he was the lead architect of the state’s 1998 technology plan.  Jamey also worked for Saginaw Intermediate School District as a REMC Director and in the private sector for Pitney Bowes Corporation.  Mr. Fitzpatrick serves on the Board of Trustees for Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, and as Vice President of the Michigan 4-H Foundation Board.  In addition, in 2006, Jamey received the International Society for Technology in Education “Making It Happen” Award which recognizes leaders at the national level for their commitment to educational technology innovation.


Eric A. Scorsone, Ph.D.
Extension Specialist
State and Local Government Program
Department of Agricultural Economics
213-D Agriculture Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
(517) 353-9460
scorsone [at]

Dr. Eric Scorsone is an Extension Specialist and faculty member for State & Local Government located in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University.  Prior to coming to Michigan, Dr. Scorsone served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Director of Kentucky Rural Health Works at the University of Kentucky, Economist for the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budget and as Senior Economist for the City of Aurora, Colorado.  He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Colorado State University in Local Public Finance and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.  For his undergraduate training, he received a B.B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago.  Dr. Scorsone’s extension and outreach education work focuses on assisting communities in the areas of state and local public finance, local government service delivery, intergovernmental agreements and strategic planning.  Dr. Scorsone provides formal training to county, city and township officials in the areas of intergovernmental cooperation, public finance & budgeting and general government.  Dr. Scorsone has also worked on international development projects in Macedonia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Resource Materials:

January 31, 2007, MSBO recent survey reveals one of five districts could be in deficit if Legislature implements proration

"A Macro View: Home Rule, State Affairs and School Consolidation" PowerPoint presentation by Eric A. Scorsone, Ph.D.

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