Governor Unveils Marshall Plan for Talent

Bob Kefgen's picture

The Marshall Plan for Talent: big statewide headlines, $100 million in proposed spending, state officials talking about a "revolution" in education and Governor Snyder saying "It’s not your dad’s job anymore, so why is it your grandfather’s school?"

The Governor rolled out his Marshall Plan for Talent in Detroit on Thursday flanked by (among others) Lieutenant Governor Calley and legislative leadership from both the House and Senate. This is the latest in an ongoing series of initiatives out of Lansing focused on making changes to Michigan's education system with an eye toward the needs of employers and the workforce.

So what is the Marshall Plan for Talent?

At its core, the Marshall Plan is a $100 million appropriation spread out over five years. The spending is broken into four broad categories:

  • $50 million for program creation and expansion
  • $25 million for student financial support
  • $20 million for career exploration for students
  • $5 million for investing in educators

The graphic on the right (which you can click to view a larger version) gives some examples of programs in each of the four categories. The $100 million figure may sound like a lot of money, but to give an idea of the scope of the proposal, note that the Governor specifically called for "55,000 success stories" and scholarships or stipends for 16,000 low income or at-risk learners. Michigan schools currently enroll around 1.5 million students.

So what will this all mean for secondary Principals?

As for the Marshall Plan itself, note that no specific legislation or spending plan has been introduced yet, so the devil will be in the details of what this looks like when it moves below the 10,000 foot level.

Something is going to happen (probably several somethings)…we just don't know what. Whether or not the Marshall Plan makes it across the finish line in its current form, secondary Principals are going to continue to feel pressed by Lansing to focus on:

  • Increasing opportunities for students to tailor their education to future careers,
  • Designing or creating courses and programs to address talent gaps in high-demand areas, and
  • Transitioning to a competency-based education model.

Remember that the Marshall Plan is only one part of a much broader push by Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature to cement in law a variety of education reforms and spending priorities around this topic before they are term-limited at the end of the calendar year. The recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance have generated seven bills to date which are also moving through the legislative process.

MASSP will continue to work with lawmakers and other stakeholders to expand opportunities for students in the areas of career development and preparation without creating unfunded mandates or another compliance-focused system.

Further Reading

The Governor's office has produced several documents tied to the Marshall Plan unveiling. We've pulled out the most relevant ones below for those Principals who want to do a deeper dive.