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Post Labor Day Start, CTE Bills Moves Out Of Committee

May 14, 2019

Public school district officials wouldn’t need to get a waiver from the Department of Education (MDE) if they wanted their schools to start before Labor Day, under legislation that moved out of a House committee Tuesday morning.

Rep. Steve Johnson’s (R-Wayland) HB 4369 moved without the support of a smattering of his Northern Michigan Republicans, but with unanimous support from the Democratic side of the aisle.

It now moves to the House Ways & Means Committee roughly a month after Education Committee Chair Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.) railed against the post Labor Day opening requirement being adopted 15 years ago for the benefit of adults, not students.

The Education Committee didn’t debate the post-Labor Day requirement or another package of bills that expands the state’s high school graduation requirements to better fit students taking a career technical education (CTE) track.

The bills include:

– Rep. Beth Griffin’s (R-Mattawan) HB 4269 and HB 4270, which allows students to satisfy their 21st Century Skills requirement by taking a foreign language class at any time during their K-12 experience. Sign language would fit this requirement and the student could take a foreign language class online to satisfy the requirement.

A visual arts class, computer science, computer coding or a CTE program could also be used to garner the three credits needed to satisfy the 21st Century Skills requirement.

– Rep. Gary Howell’s (R-North Branch) HB 4271, which allows a statistics or financial literacy class to satisfy the state’s Algebra 2 requirement.

– Rep. Roger Hauck’s (R-Union Twp.) HB 4282, which allows a training course on Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements to replace the health requirement.

The CTE bills are similar to what passed the House last year, but died in the Senate.

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