Michigan School Siting Guidelines: Taking the Environment into Account

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Mohai, P., & Kweon, B. (2020). Michigan school siting guidelines: Taking the environment into account


Michigan currently does not have a statewide approach to school siting that takes into account environmental quality. In 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency released national voluntary School Siting Guidelines, calling on states to develop and implement their own school siting and environmental cleanup standards. A number of states have done so, and, with support from the Kresge Foundation, the Michigan School Siting Task Force — a group of scholars, policy professionals, Michigan legislators, and members of non-governmental organizations and Michigan’s school communities — has worked to identify tools and best practices that could facilitate healthy school siting decisions in Michigan. The purpose of this report is to explain the need for a school siting policy in Michigan, document the work of the School Siting Task Force, evaluate the resources available for developing a school siting policy, and provide recommendations for a school siting policy for the State of Michigan. This report documents that our work is intended to stimulate policy debate and timely concrete action among Michigan legislators, policy advocates, and school communities. Its ultimate goal is to galvanize state lawmakers to develop a statewide school siting policy in Michigan that safeguards students’ health and well-being.