Representative John Reilly committee
Senate panel approves Rep. Reilly plan to make high school workforce exam optional
RELEASE|May 17, 2022

The Senate Committee on Education and Career Readiness today approved state Rep. John Reilly’s plan to make the ACT WorkKeys exam optional for Michigan high school students.

Public school students are currently required to take the workforce readiness exam in 11th grade.

“The WorkKeys exam can be a useful tool to help young people evaluate themselves as they prepare to join the workforce, but we simply don’t need to mandate it for everyone,” said Reilly, R-Oakland Township. “My plan will make this test available but optional — offering flexibility for Michigan students to forge their own paths.”

Reilly’s House Bill 4038, along with HB 4037, would eliminate the requirement that students take the WorkKeys exam. Schools could still offer a workforce readiness exam voluntarily, and they would be required to provide an opportunity to take the exam to any student who requests it. The state Department of Education could not require schools to administer WorkKeys as a general condition of receiving state aid. Schools would be reimbursed for expenses of administering the workforce skills exam.

HB 4538 would use additional funds saved from removing the WorkKeys mandate to help reimburse schools for offering other assessments related to career and technical education, postsecondary credentials, or professional certification.

The bills now advance to the entire Senate for consideration.

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