Marshall Plan, Career Pathways Bills Headed to Gov

Bob Kefgen's picture

Both Governor Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent and a series of bills collectively referred to as the Career Pathways Alliance legislation made it across the finish line before summer break. A few other bills that weren’t officially part of either effort but were tangentially related were also able to ride the wave. The end result: a whole lot of new legislation dealing with topics ranging from school improvement plans to the MMC to teacher certification is headed to Governor Snyder for signature.

Here’s a breakdown of the various pieces of legislation. MASSP will continue to follow up on each of these bills as more detail becomes available about how each of these initiatives will be implemented and enforced by MDE.

Table of Contents

SB 941-42: Marshall Plan for Talent

The final plan includes $100 million in total spending, most of which will be allocated through competitive grants. Much of the detail and the entire grant application process is yet to be determined by MDE and they have until March 31, 2019 to begin accepting applications, so it will be some time before we have a complete picture. In the meantime, here are some of the major spending categories and provisions that will be of interest to Principals:

  • In response to concerns that competitive grants disproportionately favor larger districts, the bills assign all districts into one of three tiers based on student population and require a certain percentage of grant money be awarded to districts in each tier.
  • $29.9 million to expand K-12 programs focused on creating competencies in high-demand fields by providing competitive grants to districts and Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) that are members of or apply on behalf of a talent consortium. Money could be used for a variety of purposes including hiring staff, paying for professional development, paying for staff to add endorsements to their certificates, and creating new curriculum.
  • $10.5 million for competitive grants to districts and ISDs that are members of a talent consortium to hire additional staff for career counseling activities such as creating education development plans and talent portfolios, identifying work-based learning opportunities, and identifying career exploration activities.
  • $18.5 million for competitive grants to a district or ISD that is a member of a talent consortium for the purchase or lease of equipment to provide increased career opportunities for pupils and adult learners in high-demand fields. Applicants must provide matching funds (in-kind goods or services are an allowable match) of at least 25% of the grant award.
  • $20.0 million to fund scholarships and stipends for 3 cohorts over the course of 4 years, which are to assist low-income individuals with the cost of obtaining a qualifying degree or credential in a high-demand field.
  • $2.3 million for awards of $500 (half to student and half to district) for the completion of an in-demand workforce certificate in a high-demand field in calendar year 2019 or 2020.
  • For the purposes of this bill, "high-demand field" is defined as professional trades, manufacturing, engineering, information technology and computer science, machine learning and artificial intelligence, mobility, health care, and business.

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SB 175: Michigan Merit Curriculum

This bill would extend the sunset on MMC language that allows students to replace one credit of world language with an additional credit of arts or with completion of a formal, MDE approved CTE program. As MASSP reported back in February, that flexibility expired with the class of 2022. This bill reinstates it for the graduating classes for 2022-2024. It also adds a new reporting requirement: districts would be required to report how many students utilize this flexibility. While it is likely too late for this bill to have an impact on scheduling for most of next years 9th graders (the Class of 2022), districts that wish to utilize this flexibility for students for next school year may do so. See our longer article for more information.

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SB 684: Education Development Plans

This legislation will require districts to ensure that students review and revise their EDPs "as appropriate" during each year of high school. Additionally, during the EDP development process that takes place in 7th grade, districts will now be required to provide students with an opportunity to do career exploration, an opportunity to develop and revise a talent portfolio, and information about projected job openings and those jobs' actual wages (which effectively duplicates the new requirement imposed by SB 343 detailed below). The bill provides some guidance about what must be included in a talent portfolio, but largely defers to MDE to develop guidance and informational materials for districts to use, so many of the implementation details are as yet unknown.

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SB 685: School Improvement Plans and Work-Based Learning

At its core, the bill creates a number of new curricular requirements that schools will now be required to offer or provide to students related to career education and work-based learning. Those include providing students with career information resources, opportunities to participate in formal work-based learning, information on accessing career counseling, and formal instruction on resume writing and applying for a job. By including these requirements in the section of law that governs the SIP process, the bill also has the effect of requiring districts to include a plan for compliance as part of the SIP. These new requirements will not apply until next school year at the earliest.

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HB 5139: Career Development Education

Under HB 5139, districts must incorporate some form of career development instruction at least once per grade level (i.e. elementary, middle level, and high school). The form and content of this instruction would be left entirely to district discretion, though MDE would be required to develop standards and model instruction that districts could adopt or adapt if they wanted. Similar to other recent bills of this type, the legislation is not a requirement for the individual student to take this instruction, but rather for the school to incorporate and offer it.

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HB 5141-42: Uncertified CTE Teachers

The final versions of HB 5141-42 will expand the current law (MCL 380.1233b) around hiring uncertified instructors. The bills expand the subjects an uncertified instructor could teach to include industrial technology and CTE. To qualify, a person would need a minimum of a high school diploma, a professional license or certificate in the field they are going to teach (if applicable), and two years of relevant work experience in the previous 10 year period. An uncertified instructor could teach up to 10 years without a certificate and longer with a waiver from MDE. The bill also clarifies that uncertified instructors will be subject to the same ongoing PD and teacher evaluation requirements as certified teachers.

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HB 5145: CTE Professional Development

HB 5145 will require MDE to develop standards for teachers to use externships or time spent engaging with local business or employers to count as professional development time (SCECHs), which could be used to renew a teaching certificate. The details of what this policy would look like are unknown since the standards have yet to be developed, but the bill requires that educators (including secondary principals) be consulted in its development. However, language added to the MDE budget could prevent them from promulgating any new rules for several months, which could delay the implementation of this bill.

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SB 343: In-Demand Career Information

The bill requires districts to share information about in-demand careers with students during the EDP development process. Specifically, schools must provide students with a particular analysis of in-demand jobs and careers in their region through information provided by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The information will be sent to districts and published on DTMB's website. Note that complying with this law should also satisfy the new requirement imposed by SB 684 that students be given information about projected job openings and wages during their EDP development process.

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SB 344: STEM Diploma Endorsement

The legislation creates an optional STEM diploma endorsement that schools could choose to offer students. Under the bill, students who complete a certain number of credits in science (6 credits), mathematics (6 credits), technology (.5 credit), and engineering (.5 credit) would be eligible to receive a special endorsement on their high school diploma. Districts or schools are not required to participate, but any that choose to will need to wait for additional guidance from MDE prior to implementing this program since additional clarification is needed (e.g. the bill allows pupils to complete the credits during grades 7-12, but doesn't specify if middle schoolers would need to take high school level content to count the credits).

Final Thoughts

If you've made it this far in the article, you've likely noticed some themes:

  • Many of the provisions in the new legislation overlap or are redundant. For example, three different bills require schools to give students information on job openings. Sort of a belt and suspenders and duct tape approach.
  • MDE is going to have to develop A LOT of guidance before districts will have a clear picture of how these bills all work together.
  • The timeline for implementation is all over the place. Some bills will take effect in September while others are on hold until December. The Marshall Plan implementation may not happen until March, but MMC flexibility is effectively already the law of the land.

Over the summer, MASSP will be working to break down this legislation further, provide Principals with guidance and practical steps they can take to get ready for next year, and advocate on your behalf as MDE starts developing its guidance.

In the meantime, there is really only one thing that Principals need to worry about immediately: do you want/need to utilize the MMC flexibility afforded by SB 175 to change student schedules for the fall? If the answer is yes, see our longer article for full details.

If not, the best thing you can probably do is start reviewing your existing career counseling and EDP processes so you'll have a good handle on how to adjust your practice when the new requirements are put in place.

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