What is an ISD?
Infographic: Michigan-Made ISDs - Advancing Our Students & Schools
The 57 intermediate school districts (ISDs) or regional educational service agencies (RESAs) were created by the legislature in 1962 to bring about quality and equitable educational opportunities to students and schools throughout the state. ISDs accomplish this mission in a number of ways, namely by:
- Creating and promoting economies of scale through things like cooperative purchasing and special education services;
- Sharing current and credible research, best practices, and innovation through initiatives like the fiber project and professional development; and
- Providing oversight and liaison roles through programs like Head Start of Muskegon/Oceana and the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center.
Over the course of the past decade, the unique roles of ISDs have adapted to include increased calls for educational accountability. For example, our ISD is taking an active role in helping member districts understand, comply, and implement the standards required under the complex federal No Child Left Behind law and the state accreditation system. We are also building and sustaining local partnerships and sharing credible research on the importance of early childhood care and education. By working with development boards, business and industry, ISDs help promote growing economies and stable communities.
ISDs serve the educational needs of their constituent local districts; therefore, local school board members elect MAISD board members. This provides for geographic representation that balances large and small school districts, as well as urban, suburban and rural.