SUMMARY OF BILL
REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE
Senate Bill 601 (as reported without amendment)
Senate Bill 600 (S-2) would amend the Revised School Code to do the following:
-- Modify the Michigan merit standards for mathematics, social science, English language arts, and science for pupils entering grade 8 in 2020.
-- Eliminate from the Michigan merit standard a requirement that a pupil complete at least one credit in a subject that includes both health and physical education, at least one credit in visual arts, performing arts, or applied arts, and at least two credits of a language other than English.
-- Provide a list of courses, credits, or programs that would count as elective credits for a high school pupil if successfully completed and if they were aligned with guidelines developed by the Department of Education and approved by the State Board of Education.
-- Require the Department to develop Michigan high school standards for the proposed Michigan merit standards for mathematics, social science, English language arts, and science, and guidelines for certain elective courses.
-- Require the Department to submit to the Legislature an annual report that evaluated the overall success of the proposed curriculum.
-- Amend various provisions pertaining to the modification of the Michigan merit standards, including modifications for a pupil who transferred from an out of State school or to a different school district.
-- Allow specialty schools to use SAT scores to meet certain requirements to remain a specialty school.
-- Replace references to the Michigan Education Assessment Program with the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress.
-- Allow approved standards or guidelines developed by the Department to remain in effect if the content expectations or guidelines are equivalent to those in the bill.
The bill also would repeal Section 1278b of the Revised School Code. (Section 1278b prescribes additional Michigan merit standard requirements, requires the Department of Education to develop subject area content expectations, and provides for the development of a personal curriculum for pupils. Many of these provisions would be recodified in substantially the same form, while others (such as those pertaining to the development of personal curricula) would be eliminated.)
Senate Bill 601 would amend the State School Aid Act to remove references to Section 1278b of the Revised School Code.
388.1622b et al.
The bills would have an indeterminate fiscal impact on the Department of Education and intermediate school districts, local school districts, and charter schools. The Department has content expectations and guidelines for the core subject areas required for high school completion and likely would not have to develop and approve new grade level standards for the core subjects and required courses. However, the Department could have to develop expectation (referred to in the bill as Michigan high school standards) and guidelines for alternative coursework since local school districts and public school academies would be allowed to offer any credit, course, program, or curriculum to be used for alternative credit. If the Department had to develop a significant number of additional standards and guidelines for alternative credit, then it could experience additional costs. The costs are unknown, but would depend on the number of new guidelines that would have to be developed.
The bills could have some indeterminate fiscal impacts on districts and charter schools; it is unknown whether there would be savings or costs. The overall requirement of 18 credits to receive a diploma would remain the same, meaning that the same overall levels of staffing hours likely would be required to ensure pupils could obtain 18 credits in high school. However, the elimination of requirements for foreign language, visual and performing arts, and health and physical education could result in a district's being able to use fewer distinct teachers. This could drive some savings to a district, but the amount is indeterminate.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.