Requiring schools Provide Instruction in “Advanced Manufacturing”

H.4435 would require that every public school district provide elective instruction in advanced manufacturing for students in grades 6-12. For purposes of the law advanced manufacturing is defined as “activities that (a) depends on the use and coordination of information, automation, computation, software, sensing, and networking; and (b) makes use of cutting edge materials and emerging capabilities enabled by the physical and biological sciences, for example nanotechnology, chemistry, and biology”.

This legislation feels like a dialed back version of 2015 legislation designed to create a “manufacturing career pathway”. Some of the statements made about that legislation are just as applicable here. It is not the state’s job to churn out workers for the manufacturing sector, or for that matter, for any other sector of the economy. The public needn’t subsidize training costs for manufacturing firms.

Aside from functioning as something of a handout to the manufacturing industry this bill also imposes another unnecessary cost on schools we are constantly being told are underfunded. If an individual school or districts wishes to provide instruction in manufacturing that’s fine, but there shouldn’t be a state mandate to do so.

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