This week, Governor Whitmer signed into law SB 171, which removes the sunset on the flexibility students currently have to substitute alternative coursework for their second credit of world language. For the last several years, students have been allowed two alternatives to taking a second credit of world language: an additional arts credit or completion of a CTE course sequence. That flexibility was initially time limited and was slated to expire with the current eighth grade class, but with this week’s action it will remain in place indefinitely.

Just to review, the flexibility in question is language that says students may partially or fully fulfil 1 credit of the World Language requirement by completing:

  • A Department approved formal CTE program or
  • Visual, Performing, or Applied Arts instruction that is in addition to the one credit Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts requirement.

With students and educators facing so many changes this year, SB 171 helps ensure that some important curriculum flexibility remains in place. Moreover, by passing the bill now, rather than at the last minute (as so often happens), Lansing has also given students and educators time to react and make any needed adjustments before the current eighth graders schedules their freshman year courses.