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States Seeks to Change Career and Technical Education Programs

Mitch Albers

By Mitch Albers, MASB Assistant Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, Dec. 20, 2017

The House recently passed House Bills 5139-5142 and 5145, which are intended to expand and clarify career and technical education opportunities at schools across the state. During committee earlier in the week and during debate on the floor, multiple changes were made to the package. Two of the most significant changes are in HB 5140, which requires districts to maintain a list of student data to be provided to other entities for recruitment purposes, and HB 5141, which allows districts to hire noncertified teachers to teach CTE programs.

HB 5140 was amended to expand the list or entities that are eligible to request high school students’ data from schools to include colleges and universities, Michigan Works!, apprenticeship programs, as well as proprietary schools, community colleges and skilled trade employers, who were originally included in the legislation. School districts will be required to provide parents with a notice, developed by the Michigan Department of Education, that allows the parents to opt-in at the beginning of the school year to allow their child’s data to be shared with eligible entities. After opting in, parents will be able to opt-out at any time, but will not be able to then opt back in until the next school year.

A district would than need to maintain the list and share it upon request from any of the eligible entities. MASB opposes this bill because of the burden it places on districts and concerns with student privacy.

HB 5141 allows for school districts to employ noncertified, nonendorsed teachers for industrial technology and career and technical education programs. The House made changes to require a noncertified, nonendorsed teacher to take six hours of training prior to beginning teaching, and another six hours of training within two months of beginning teaching. The individual will also have to have at least a high school diploma or high school equivalency and, if the occupation is licensed, the individual must either maintain that license (having it not lapse within two years of hiring), or have attained journeyworker status with at least three consecutive years of experience in the subject matter or field. HB 5142 is tie-barred to HB 5141 and would exempt schools that engage noncertified, nonendorsed CTE teachers from a deduction by MDE from the school’s allocation based on the teacher’s pay.

HB 5139 requires MDE and the Department of Talent and Economic Development to develop a model program of instruction in career development for every grade level in K-12 and make it available to all districts. A district would be required to include grade-appropriate instruction on career development at each grade level. MASB supports this bill as it allows a local district to determine how best to incorporate the instruction.

HB 5145 requires MDE to promulgate rules that allow teachers who engage local businesses or career technical centers to receive professional development credit. HB 5145 was amended to require that MDE consult with intermediate school districts, elementary, middle school and high school principals, TED, as well as groups representing employers, economic development agencies, trade unions and superintendents when promulgating the rules.

MASB believes that the intention of this legislation is promising, but has concerns with noncertified, nonendorsed teachers not needing to ever seek a certification nor having to maintain their own professional license. MASB would also like to have a discussion that includes expansion of funding to ensure all students have access to CTE programs, and not just focus on legislation that expands access for students in districts that already have CTE programs.

The bills passed the House on its last day of session for the year and now go to the Senate for its consideration. We expect fairly quick action on the bills in the new year as they remain a priority of Gov. Rick Snyder.

While these bills are still being worked on, MDE has created new documents to help local school districts in developing a CTE program. The Career and Technical Education Playbook provides local administrators with tools to determine what CTE programs would be best for their community and the Career Preparation Readiness Manual provides information on designing the programs. Both guides are posted at www.michigan.gov/octe.

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