LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ed McBroom on Wednesday testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on his legislation to enable more students to engage in work-based learning in high school.
Joining McBroom for the hearing via Zoom were Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District Superintendent Alan Tulppo and Trent Bellingar, CTE director for the Delta Schoolcraft ISD. NICE Community School District Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine was unable to testify during the rescheduled hearing but supports the bill.
“The goal of this legislation is to allow more high school students to enter into apprenticeship programs while in school and get a jump start into what may become a rewarding and successful career,” said McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “A high school registered youth apprenticeship remains the single most efficient path to the middle class. Rather than starting a career with significant college debt, students in apprenticeships and similar programs can begin their careers with a healthy bank account — having had invaluable experience or even having earned money while they learn.
“Students gain not only the education and training but also the work experience that employers seek while developing a professional network within their desired career pathway.”
Senate Bill 23 would allow school districts and public school academies to count students who are engaged in work-based learning experiences in official pupil numbers for up to 0.75 of a full-time student, an increase from the 0.5 currently allowed.
“At NICE Community Schools, we support all efforts to allow high school students to explore their potential futures. Allowing students to experience paid internships as they search for their future careers will be game-changing. We fully endorse this legislative work to make paid internships a reality for our students,” DeAugustine said.
“The increase of FTE to 0.75 for students to participate in state-approved CTE work-based learning will allow schools the latitude that the Michigan Merit Curriculum allows to follow the educational development plan for each student, making school adaptive to unique needs to help students be successful in their paths after high school,” Bellingar said.
“This boost for work-based learning will greatly benefit students in small, rural districts by allowing more flexibility and opportunities to learn a trade that could lead to future employment and allow them to remain in their home communities after high school if they choose to do so,” Tulppo said.
SB 23 would apply to work-based learning experiences related to a state-approved career and technical education program coordinated through a training agreement with an employer providing a paid or unpaid education experience relating to school instruction that may be offered as part of a student’s schedule.
The bill would also use $2 million from the School Aid Fund for competitive grants to districts for extra costs incurred for high school students participating in work-based learning experiences or work-based learning experiences related to a CTE program.
“This legislation can be a helpful tool in keeping students in their community and in our state,” McBroom said. “It gives Michigan employers the opportunity to build strong relationships with their local talent before they leave high school while showing students amazing employment opportunities in their own backyard.”
Editor’s note: The above photograph of McBroom is available by clicking on the image or by visiting SenatorEdMcBroom.com/photos.
McBroom photo caption: State Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on his legislation to enable more students to engage in work-based learning in high school. Senate Bill 23 would allow school districts and public school academies to count students who are engaged in work-based learning experiences in official pupil numbers for up to 0.75 of a full-time student, an increase from the 0.5 currently allowed.