2024 Quarter 1 | The Council of State Governments (CSG) | Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC)

MLC Education & Workforce Development 

Committee Newsletter


OH Sen. Hearcel Craig


WI Rep. Joel Kitchens

Vice Chair

MN Sen. Heather Gustafson

Upcoming Events

July 21-24:

78th Annual Meeting of the MLC - Columbus, Ohio

August 23-27:

29th Annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) - Madison, Wis.

September 5-10:

CSG 2024 Henry Toll Fellowship - Lexington, Ky.

December 4-6:

2024 CSG National Conference - New Orleans, La.

MLC Annual Meeting Page

Committee Happenings

Greetings, once again, members of The Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference Education & Workforce Development Committee. Whether you are currently in legislative session or catching up on constituent outreach, we hope you are able to carve out some time in your schedules to take advantage of the programing and activities the MLC and this committee have planned over the next few months.

MLC Annual Meeting on July 21-24 in Columbus, Ohio

In late July, the various committees of the Midwestern Legislative Conference will host in-person sessions in conjunction with the MLC Annual Meeting in Columbus. This family-friendly event brings together legislators and their guests from the region’s states and provinces for four days of learning, collaboration and networking opportunities. 

For those interested in attending, please keep in mind two important dates that will feature committee-related content.

On Sunday, July 21, the committee will host its annual business session. This session serves as an opportunity to not only hear presentations on important education and workforce development policy, but also to better understand how your fellow lawmakers are tackling similar issues in their home states and provinces. This year's business session will be extended to two hours to allow more time for a roundtable discussion among legislators.

The Sunday session also will will feature an overview of the work being done in the host state of Ohio to strengthen and integrate state policy on education and workforce development through a recent legislative-initiated restructuring of the state education agency. The session will also include a presentation on a pedagogical method to literacy education that is based on cognitive science that now has been adopted by a majority of Midwestern states.

On Tuesday, July 23, a committee-sponsored session will explore state policies to better help students in need of academic remediation as they transition from high school to college, as well as prevention strategies to help students prior to graduation from high school.  

In the coming weeks, you will receive additional details about the committee’s sessions, including an agenda, as well as the larger MLC Annual Meeting. We hope to see you in Columbus this summer. Please visit csgmidwest.org for more information about the MLC Annual Meeting and to register for the event. Please note that you can save $50 by taking advantage of our early-bird discount by registering by Tuesday, May 21.

Webinar on Teacher Shortages

Later this spring, CSG Midwest will release an issue brief on strategies Midwestern states have taken to address ongoing teacher shortages. To complement the release of this report, the MLC Education & Workforce Development Committee will host a webinar on the topic sometime in late spring or early summer. An invitation will be sent to all committee members. In addition, a legislative tracker highlighting active bills addressing teacher shortage problems will be uploaded on the CSG Midwest website soon.

Education & Workforce Articles

The first edition of Stateline Midwest of 2024 featured a committee-related article on financial literacy instruction in high school. As a result of recent legislative actions, a majority of Midwestern states now require students to take a stand-alone financial literacy course in order to graduate. The article takes a look at the positive effects of financial literacy instruction on financial decision making, while also exploring the challenges for schools in having to offer a state-mandated stand-alone, semester-long class in this subject area.

The article can be found HERE.

The second committee-related article of 2024 explores strategies Midwestern states have taken to address chronic absenteeism. Through an interview with the executive director of Attendance Works, the piece explores some of the root causes that contribute to habitual absences from school.

It also highlights the actions of state legislatures that consider these contributing factors when crafting intervention strategies.

The article can be found HERE.

Research Resources

"Income Share Agreements to Finance Short-Term Career Training"

MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that researches efforts to reduce poverty and inequity, particularly in workforce development policies. In February, the organization released a report detailing the initial findings of a multiyear study evaluating the effects of a job training program designed for underserved, low-income individuals. Under the program, participants enter an income share agreement: in exchange for participating in a no-cost, short-term job training program, they agree to repay a portion of their eventual income to the trainers after finding gainful employment.

The preliminary report can be found HERE. A longer report is expected to be published near the end of the year.

"State Policies Impacting CTE: 2023 Year in Review"

Another recent resource worth highlighting comes from Advance CTE. In its "2023 Year in Review" report, the organization highlights a number of bills passed last year that advanced policies related to, for example, developing industry-based student learning models, creating CTE-related scholarships for participants, and restructuring graduation requirements to include CTE training experiences.

A number of examples from Midwestern states were included in the report, which can be found HERE.

Thank you for reading. Watch for the next edition to come out in June 2024.