State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, recently voted in support of merit curriculum legislation that will give high school students more flexibility within graduation requirements and help set the table for their future careers.
“We have the opportunity to help our students in the Upper Peninsula be better prepared for life after graduation, should it involve a college education or not,” LaFave said. “This legislation is a necessary update to the professions and career fields we know are in high demand right here and right now. Our high schools are providing the real-world training, but we’re not giving students and their families the full opportunity of learning these skilled trades or computer coding for credit toward graduation.”
The four bills in the package will:
- Allow students to fulfill a 21st Century Skills requirement by completing a combination of career/technical education (CTE) or visual/performing arts courses.
- Allow for one of two required foreign language credits to be achieved through a CTE course, computer coding or certain visual/performing arts courses. This is current law, but legislation removes the 2021 expiration date.
- Allow the completion of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration general industry or construction training program within a CTE program to fulfill a health education requirement.
- Allows a Statistics course to be an alternative to Algebra II within current Michigan Merit Curriculum standards that require at least four mathematic credits to graduate.
“We’ve got to stop treating education as one-size-fits-all because not all students have the same career interests,” LaFave said. “We have to offer flexibility in the curriculum to allow even better success in school and life.”
House Bills 4315-4318 advance to the Senate for consideration.