LANSING – High school students might be able to take different classes such as computer coding instead of English and statistics rather than algebra II to help them graduate under a package of bills passed by the Michigan House on Thursday.
The bills would change requirements in foreign language, mathematics, health and English. Currently, Michigan high school students are required to complete the Merit Standard Curriculum to graduate that requires a specific number of credits in English, science, mathematics and other classes.
Under the new package of bills, the English credits would be replaced with 21st century skills with a combination of different classes students could take like computer coding or science classes. Additionally, another bill would allow for 30 hours of safety training by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to replace the requirement for a health education requirement.
North Branch Republican state Rep. Gary Howell sponsored a bill that would let students either take algebra II or statistics to fulfil part of the math requirement.
“It’s a pretty straightforward bill what it did is allow a student going forward to make a choice, right now algebra II is mandatory, under my bill they would have a choice of statistics if they would find that more useful for their future career,” Howell said.
State Rep. Curt VanderWall, R- Ludington, said it is extremely important to him to make sure kids and families make the best decisions they can career wise.
“This opens up the opportunity for the young people to do career tech and really learn where they want to go for their future,” VanderWall said. “College is not for everybody, we encourage everybody that goes but you know who knows better but the parent, the school the counselors and the child.”
VanderWall also said that he also met with superintendents from his district and the response to the legislation has been positive.
READ MORE HERE: House passes bills on high school graduation requirements