Education Policy

McLellan has been active in the public education matters for many years.

In 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder requested that McLellan provide pro bono legal services to Eli Broad ( and the Snyder Administration in connection with the financial crisis facing the Detroit Public Schools (“DPS”). In that effort, McLellan assisted in establishing the Education Achievement Authority (“EAA”) (, a program to dramatically redesign public education in Michigan's lowest performing schools by including them into a new system that drives vastly more resources directly into their classrooms and offers greater autonomy to help ensure dramatic student achievement increases.

In 2012, Gov. Snyder asked McLellan to undertake an intensive 5-month project to propose changes in Michigan’s school finance system to allow money to more closely follow children and allow for a variety of choices for families. In a Report scheduled for release in early 2013, a Michigan Public Education Finance Act will be proposed to substantially replace the Michigan School Aid Act of 1979. The Oxford Foundation ( financed the project.

McLellan has been a leader in efforts in Michigan to expand school choice for Michigan students. He is the principal drafter of the bipartisan legislation establishing public school academies, or charter schools, as part of Michigan’s system of free public schools and the 2009 amendments to that law. He argued successfully in the Michigan Supreme Court for the constitutionality of public charter schools in Council of Orgs. and Others for Educ. About Parochiaid, Inc. v. Governor, 455 Mich. 557, 566 N.W.2d 208 (1997), upholding Michigan’s charter school law. He has assisted public university boards and other authorizing bodies to implement the new law. McLellan served on the Michigan Charter School Commission chaired by Michigan State University President M. Peter McPherson in 2002.

McLellan has also been active in supporting higher education in the following roles:

At the request of Governor John Engler, McLellan helped establish and served as President of the Michigan Japan Foundation, established to provide private support for the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), a program established in Japan by Michigan’s 15 public universities.

He also served as member of the board of directors of the Michigan State University College of Law, the University Investment Commission, the Michigan Information Technology Network, and the MSU Michigan Political Leadership Program Advisory Committee.

McLellan is an adjunct associate professor in the Michigan State University’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and a member of the Advisory Board for MSU’s James H. and Mary B. Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law. He also served as an Adjunct Professor of International Studies, Michigan State University. He is a member of the Union of Nontenure Track Faculty (UNTF) at MSU, a unit of the American Federation of Teachers (“AFT”) (

Mr. McLellan is a member of the Board of Governors of the Cranbrook Institute of Science, one of Michigan’s leading science museums and part of the Cranbrook Educational Community.  He was a Trustee of the Library of Michigan and served 10 years as the president of the Library of Michigan Foundation.

McLellan received all of his education through public schools, including Paw Paw, Michigan High School, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan Law School.