The state legislature is now on summer recess. One of the last things it did before adjourning was to pass a package of bills to reform the Michigan Merit Curriculum for high school students. The bills would give students greater latitude to pursue vocational education.

State Representative Ed McBroom of Vulcan wrote one of the bills. His bill would create additional options to meet graduation requirements in math and foreign languages, among other things. The other two bills in the package, written by downstate lawmakers, would allow for the option of a personalized curriculum to meet students’ individual goals and needs.

“We didn’t get everything we originally wanted and there’s still a long-developing discussion about what is and isn’t right for each student to take, but I just really am pleased to see that we did have a major victory for students and schools in getting some additional flexibility for career and technical education,” Rep. McBroom said.

State Representatives John Kivela of Marquette and Scott Dianda of Calumet worked on the bills, as did State Senator Tom Casperson of Escanaba. McBroom says it’s extremely valuable to have the U.P. delegation ignoring political party affiliation and supporting the same causes.

“It’s just great to have a partnership, that we can work together,” he said. “Then we can come down to Lansing and speak with one voice for our area, too. It more than doubles the impact that any one of us can have on (the) legislative process.”

The package of bills is on its way to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk for his signature.