On Thursday, the house passed a four-bill package, including legislation Rep. Curt Vanderwall sponsored, to provide more flexibility in the Michigan Merit Curriculum to allow for more paths to career technical education programs. Vanderwall spoke in Lansing about the purpose of his bill, “Ultimately, who knows better than the parent, the school and the child where they want to go and if foreign language doesn’t fit into their career path, they need that option, and that what this bill does.”
Vanderwall also spoke about the impact he foresees this bill having on the community. “We went through a period of time where we put people on a career path to go to college, and we’ve swung the pendulum so far that now we have great sustaining career family jobs in our local communities that allow our kids, especially the kids in my district to remain near their family, raise their families and have great sustaining jobs with a great pay scale.”
Currently, Michigan merit standards allow for one foreign language course requirement to be met by completing a career/technical education (CTE) or visual/performing arts course to graduate high school. VanderWall’s bill, House Bill 4316, removes the 2021 expiration date and allows students to continue having this option.