Christina Turner

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX/Capitol Bureau) – Teenagers flooded the state Capitol to support a bill that would force the state to let them substitute traditional academic classes for agriculture, career and technical courses.

“In the governor’s State of the State address, he was making the statement that 75% of high school graduates need a college degree to get a good-paying job,” Wood says. “I don’t buy into that. There’s a lot of good jobs in technical fields that don’t need a four-year degree.”

Wood says students would take career classes with similar concepts to academic classes.

“You can substitute for the science class animal husbandry, or plants and greenhouse,” Wood says.

Eldon FFA President Drew Koerner says he plans to go to college, but his professional classes prepared him to know what he wants to do.

“This could open doors for more students and younger students to explore careers they could potentially enter,” Koerner says. “More students could learn and gain professional experience while they’re still in high school.”

Rep. Genise Montecillo, D-St. Louis County, says students that took fewer academic courses would not be prepared for high-level math and reading needed to succeed in professional schools.

“These fields and areas are becoming more and more specialized,” Montecillo says. “That specialization is requiring more academic skills as well.”

A woman with a decade of experience working for career centers says professional programs do not provide the rigorous educational background students would need should they decide to transition to a traditional college.

The House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education took no action on the bill.


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