State Rep. Jim Lower of Cedar Lake is co-sponsoring merit curriculum legislation that gives students more flexibility in their high school educational choices and preparation for post-graduation careers.
“We have the resources in Montcalm and Gratiot counties to prepare the next generation in skilled trades, which will meet the growing demand we have right now in mid-Michigan,” Lower said. “Our high schools, along with Montcalm County Community College, have the programs to help get our students ready if they have a skill for computer coding, carpentry, statistics or other specific trades. High school is about preparing our kids for life after graduation and that’s how these four bills will help students by providing more flexibility to select the courses that meet their needs.”
The four bills in the package will:
- Allow students to complete their 21st Century Skills requirement by completing a career/technical education (CTE) or visual/performing arts course.
- Allow for one foreign language course requirement to be met by completing a CTE or visual/performing arts course to graduate high school beyond 2021, when the current requirement expires.
- Allow the completion of a Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration general industry or construction training program to fulfill a health education requirement.
- Allow for statistics to be an alternative to Algebra II within current Michigan Merit Standards that require at least four mathematic credits to graduate.
“Adding flexibility to our high school curriculum is crucial to Gratiot and Montcalm counties,” Lower said. “I support these bills because it gives the students and parents more educational freedom, while increasing career opportunities in the skilled trades. I also support it because this legislation is the right thing for us.”
House Bills 4315-4318 have been assigned to the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee.