This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

The House Committee on Workforce and Talent Development held a second round of testimony Tuesday morning on a package of legislation billed as enacting the recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance—though in reality the bills bear only partial resemblance to those recommendations. MASSP's Bob Kefgen testified on the legislation, bringing up several concerns and urging committee members to find solutions to Michigan's skilled trades talent gap that don't involve expanding our reliance on uncertified teachers or imposing new reporting and documentation requirements on schools. The Senate Education Committee expanded their earlier debate about bills to help address Michigan's substitute teacher shortage into a broader discussion of teacher shortage writ large, heard from a trio of presenters—each with a different take on Michigan's teacher supply issues—and debated both the scope and underlying causes of the shortage. The House Education Committee once again took up HB 5157 (a bill to allow a limited form of pre-Labor Day start) but instead of moving forward on the legislation, the committee decided to use the opportunity to have a 30 minute discussion about the relative merits of balanced calendar and what role the legislature can and should have in encouraging districts to adopt such schedules. The committee took no action on the issue of balanced calendar and is not expected to do so in the immediate future, but will hopefully move forward on legislation this coming week that would allow districts to start school before Labor Day without needing a waiver from MDE.