Michigan Merit Curriculum
Last week, three bills (SB 66, HB 4465 and 4466) related to the Michigan Merit Curriculum were discharged from Senate Committee to the Senate Floor. An S-8 version of SB 66, which Oakland Schools supports, was unanimously approved by the Senate on Wednesday. The other two bills, which Oakland Schools opposes, are still awaiting further action on the Senate floor.
SB 66 would amend the Revised School Code regarding the fulfillment of Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements for a high school diploma through a career and technical education (CTE) program. If a district requested information from the Department of Education about CTE programs that meet the requirements of the merit curriculum, that information would have to be furnished within a reasonable time. CTE best practices would also have to be posted on the Department website.
The bill would also require a school board to ensure that students were fully informed about how their graduation requirements could be fulfilled with CTE or another Department-approved program. School Districts would be “strongly encouraged” to establish programs whose completion, after high school graduation, would be credited toward achievement of a professional certificate, training, apprenticeship, or college credit in a specific career and technical field.
There are potential costs associated with this on both ends. The Department would have to compile and make available all the information as specified in the bill. Also, districts would require school districts to ensure that pupils are provided with information about how to fulfill credit requirements for a high school diploma. Most districts already do this, but if not there could be costs associated with getting up to date.