Senate Economic Development Committee Talks EDP, SIP Changes

Bob Kefgen's picture

The onslaught of legislation resulting from the recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance continued this week with a hearing in the Senate Economic Development Committee on a pair of bills. SB 684, introduced by Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), would add additional requirements to Michigan’s Educational Development Plan (EDP) process. SB 685, introduced by Senator Pete MacGregor (R-Rockford), would require schools to include several additional components in their School Improvement Plans (SIP) and mandate that districts provide every student with a number of additional career related opportunities, like work-based learning.

MASSP and other groups have provided input on the bill and asked for amendments. Some changes are expected, though whether they will be sufficient to address the myriad concerns that exist is unclear.

Here are the details of each bill:

SB 684 - Additional Educational Development Plan Requirements
Current law requires that students be given an opportunity to work with a counselor to develop an EDP in 7th grade and schools must make sure that 8th graders review and revise their EDPs as appropriate prior to entering high school. The law also requires that, during the EDP development process, schools inform students about opportunities to fulfill MMC requirements through CTE. SB 684 adds the following additional elements:
Under the bill, schools would have to ensure that each student reviewed and revised his or her EDP during each year of high school.As part of the EDP development process, schools would be required to provide all students the following information or opportunities:

  • Information on current and projected job openings in Michigan and projected wages for those jobs.
  • An opportunity to do career cruising
  • An opportunity to develop a talent portfolio, which would then have to be revised and updated throughout the pupil’s high school career.

SB 685 - School Improvement Plan Changes
The law governing School Improvement Plans enumerates several specific elements that districts must include in their SIPs. However, none of those things actually requires districts provide specific services, just that they have plans in place to accomplish specific outcomes. SB 684 would mandate not only that SIPs include a number of additional items, but is phrased in such a way as to mandate that schools implement several specific programs.
Under SB 684, schools would be required to have plans for and to do each of the following:

  • Provide career information resources to pupils in all grades K-12
  • Provide all students opportunities to complete work-based learning experiences in areas of their interest/aptitude, AND
  • Ensure pupils make contact with workers and experts during 6-12th grade work-based learning
  • Provide all students K-12 an opportunity to discuss career interests annually with a counselor "or other knowledgeable adult"
  • Ensure every 12th grader "knows how to" develop and use a resume, letter of reference, school record, and talent portfolio

The Rest of the Story

MASSP and other education groups have raised a number of concerns with these two bills:

  • They would impose unfunded mandates on schools—primarily in the form of staff time that would be required to comply with all the new requirements—and significantly increase reporting requirements—especially for Principals.
  • Most of the work would fall within the purview of school counselors, whose time is already scare and overstretched with student ratios averaging 729:1 statewide.
  • Some of the mandates may not be age appropriate for all students, such as a mandate to provide work-based learning opportunities for all 6th graders.
  • The language (as drafted) is often sloppy and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose and function of an EDP or SIP is and how such a document is developed and used.

Like HB 5139-42 and 5145, which passed the House prior to Christmas, these bills are not being considered by the Education Committee in the context of other education-related legislation, but rather are being discussed as economic development bills and run through a non-education committee.

The committee did not vote on these bills, but a vote is expected as soon as next week.