LANSING – Sen. John Proos recently co-sponsored legislation introduced in the Michigan Senate to allow options for students to count additional career and technical education courses towards the state’s high school graduation requirements.
“This is about expanding choices for Michigan students and parents by allowing more flexibility in the curriculum required to graduate high school,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I co-sponsored this reform to give Southwest Michigan students the ability to choose the educational path that best fits their skills and desires.
“I support a rigorous education that prepares our children for success in college and beyond, but that guideline must acknowledge that college is not for everyone.”
Senate Bill 997 would revise the state’s high school graduation requirements to allow seven credits be filled either through the current route or through career and technical courses, which would include work-based learning like an internship or apprenticeship.
“As the current workforce ages and retires, Southwest Michigan manufacturers are finding it increasingly difficult to find young people with the technical skills needed for these jobs,” said Corey Carolla, director of Business and Industry at Michigan Works! of Benton Harbor. “Allowing more vocational and career courses as part of a path to a high school diploma will help us meet the needs of job providers and students.”
Proos added: “We have done much to make Michigan more competitive in the pursuit of jobs, including manufacturing jobs. While we work to bring these jobs to our state, we must ensure that Michigan will continue to have workers with the skills necessary to land these jobs.
“These additional courses increase the readiness of our youth and the awareness that a career in manufacturing is a great option. These are the main reasons for added more flexibility to our high school curriculum.”
SB 997 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee for consideration.
Audio comments by Sen. Proos about the high school requirement reforms are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”