MCAN Legislative Recap

We at MCAN are committed to providing our college access community with comprehensive legislative updates to ensure that they are immersed and well informed on all legislative news that pertains to college access. With the adjournment of this session several large changes will be implemented in relation to college access. Governor Snyder signed a variety of bills that will contribute to the funding of the Marshall Plan for Talent, a $100 million workforce training plan designed to address Michigan's talent crisis. In addition, a package of career readiness bills were also signed, that will expand career opportunities for Michigan residents. Finally, the Governor signed his final Fiscal Year Budget for 2019 into law.

The Marshall Plan for Talent

The Marshall Plan for Talent invests $100M in an effort to improve the state’s talent pool by training citizens for high-demand career fields, providing educational supports, expanding career exploration opportunities, and supporting innovative teachers and curriculum. High-demand fields include professional trades, manufacturing, engineering, information technology, computer science, machine learning and artificial intelligence, mobility, health care, and business. MCAN is particularly eager about these components of the Marshall Plan:

  • Talent Pledge Scholarship Program: Appropriates $20M for scholarships/stipends to help low-income individuals with the cost of obtaining an associate degree or certificate in a high-demand field. For those pursuing a one-year certificate, individuals qualify for a $750 scholarship and $250 stipend. For those pursuing a two-year degree, individuals qualify each year for two years for a $500 scholarship and a $250 stipend. Scholarship recipients must be between 16 and 45, file the FAFSA, be enrolled full-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and meet income requirements. This program also invests $2.44M for grants to colleges to provide coaches to students who receive these scholarships.

  • Workforce Certificate Incentives: Appropriates $2.3M for grants, stipends, and bonuses to incentivize students to earn an in-demand workforce certificate while still in high school. If a high school student completes an in-demand workforce certificate, the state will award a total of $500, including $250 to the school district and $250 to the student.

  • Career Navigators: Allocates $10.5M for competitive grants to districts to hire new staff for career counseling activities, such as robust EDP creation, identifying work-based learning opportunities, and identifying career exploration activities. The grant will support the position for three years, and the district must commit to retain the position for at least an additional two years. Schools cannot supplant resources currently utilized for career counseling. To apply for funding for a Career Navigator, districts must apply as a “Talent Consortium”, which is a partnership between K12, higher education, and employers.

  • MI Bright Future Expansion: Allocates $4M for the expansion of MI Bright Future, a web-based career exploration platform.

Career Readiness

The legislature passed a package of bills related to career readiness designed to fund multiple initiatives to help strengthen Michigan’s talent in the workforce. MCAN supports several aspects of this package, such as:

  • SB684: Requires that EDPs include information about career pathways and opportunities, and that students review and revise their EDPs each year.

  • SB685: Requires that School Improvement Plans demonstrate that students have access to practical career training/experience and counseling on career opportunities.

  • HB5139: Requires school districts to incorporate a career development program into their curriculum. Instructs the Michigan Department of Education in consultation with the Department of Talent and Economic Development to develop, adopt, and share a model program of instruction.

  • HB5141/HB5142: Allows schools to engage non-certificated, non-endorsed teachers to teach in an industrial technology education or CTE program. Prohibits the state from reducing state aid payments to schools that hire these non-certificated, non-endorsed teachers.

  • HB5145: Allows educators to use time spent engaging with employers or tech centers to count toward certificate renewal in the form of state continuing education clock hours or professional development.

Fiscal Year Budget for 2019 

The Fiscal Year Budget for 2019 is inclusive of several key aspects as they relate to college access, including;

  • A 2 percent increase for operational funding of public universities and a 1 percent operational increase for community colleges. In order for a university to qualify for increased funding, the university must restrain tuition increases by no more than 3.8 percent or $490 (whichever is greater).

  • A $3M state appropriation for support the Michigan College Access Network. This will mark the seventh consecutive year of state funds for MCAN. The appropriation provides vital funding for many of our college access programs and services, including LCAN grant funding, AdviseMI, Innovative Program Grants, Michigan College Month, and Michigan College Cash Campaign.

  • Increased funding for student financial aid, including a $6M increase to the Michigan Competitive Scholarship Program (a 22.8 percent increase) and a $6M increase to the Tuition Incentive Program (a 10.3 percent increase). The Tuition Grant program maintains existing funding levels but the maximum award for the Tuition Grant program will increase from $2,000 to $2,400. Additionally, the state will set aside an additional $1.5 million in captured property tax for Michigan Promise Zones.

  • Increased funding to support Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate testing fees for low-income students, from $750,000 to $1M. Funds may also be used for College-Level Examination Program fees.

MCAN has worked hard to be an advocate for adequate funding for higher education and increased financial aid for Michigan students. We look forward to partnering with the state to ensure that we have a well-educated and well trained workforce.

For more information on MCAN’s advocacy strategy, please visit www.micollegeaccess.org/advocacy.

 

Author: Brandy Johnson, Executive Director
Posted: July 11, 2018  

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