State Rep. Kathy Crawford today voiced her support for a new state law to increase education opportunities for high school students by allowing course credit on an internship or work study program.
Crawford reviewed and voted for the legislation as a member of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee, noting the expanding career demands in southeast Michigan. Students interested in automotive- and technology-based careers can benefit from experience gained working for local companies before earning their high school diploma.
“This law opens a door between education and our local job creators, building a student’s real-world experience as they work toward their diploma,” said Crawford, of Novi. “Giving the local school board authority to review and approve these work-study programs will help our students grow into the local workforce.”
Current Michigan Department of Education guidelines allow work-based internships in grades 9-12, but the new law eliminates administrative red tape and encourages local school boards to oversee the internship. Students can work four to 10 hours a week, either paid or as a volunteer, and receive credit for graduation.
“Career exploration and on-the-job training is an integral part of education, especially during high school and college. Students and their families should decide if this is the best option for them,” Crawford said.
The plan also safeguards funding for school districts, allowing students participating in an internship or a work experience program off campus, to continue qualifying as full-time students.
House Bills 4106 and 5676 are now 184 and 185, respectively, of 2018.