Legislation to be named in honor of late state school superintendent
The state Legislature on Tuesday approved state Rep. Daire Rendon’s landmark plan to create age-appropriate skilled trades learning programs for each grade level in Michigan’s school districts.
The bill calls for the state Department of Education to develop skilled trade instruction for the state’s K-12 students starting with the 2019-2020 school year, while also having local school districts work with area job creators and career training programs to provide input for career development education.
“This legislation is an important piece to strengthen Michigan’s future,” said Rendon, of Lake City. “Working with our children and their families on certain skills in the classroom can improve their own educational foundation and introduce students to another possible career skill. Our state is adding a lot of career opportunities while also seeing a growing demand in skilled trades, both of which will be helped by expanding instruction in the classroom.”
Rendon’s legislation is part of a bipartisan plan to enhance skilled trade education, while helping students find career opportunities within their interests. The package also will:
- Provide continuing education and professional development credit for teachers who spend time engaging with local employers and professional trade centers; and
- Permit schools to hire professional trade instructors to teach classes that align with their expertise.
Also Rendon’s legislation – House Bill 5139 – will be named the Brian Whiston Career Pathways Law, in honor of the late state superintendent of schools who passed away in early May. Whiston championed the expansion of K-12 instruction in professional and skilled trades in Michigan’s schools.
“Brian worked diligently to help better connect our state’s students with career-oriented skills,” Rendon said. “This plan had his support because it expanded education beyond the core subjects, helping children prepare for life after high school.”
The legislative package advances to the governor for review.