As 101.9 WDET focuses on Center Line as part of our “Crossing the Lines” series, we’re talking with people who are working to make a difference in that community.
State Representative Lori Stone represents Center Line and Warren in the Michigan State House. Stone made the switch to politics after being a teacher for many years. The Democrat talked with WDET’s Russ McNamara about the unique challenges her district faces.
Click the player above to hear the full interview with State Representative Lori Stone and read edited excerpts below.
The message is that we’ve focused so much on getting people through four years of college, that we need to expose our students to labor and skilled trades, and that they can support a family and that there is a very real future with those jobs.
Center Line took a look at what they were offering students. Eve Kaltz who is the superintendent, looked around and said ‘what innovative thing can we do to offer our students more career pathways.’
She found a school district in Tennessee that created academies for students. Once the students get into high school, they will do a sampler as a freshman, they get to experience a little from each of the eight career pathways. And for the next three years, they have opportunities to job shadow, do internships and their curriculum is tied to that career pathway.
On bi-partisan solutions in Lansing and Macomb County
Almost half of the county is represented by Republicans and the other half is represented by Dems, but there are many opportunities we have to work together. We often meet together. We spoke to the Macomb County Commission to report back what we’re working on in Lansing. And you’ll see crossovers in policy.
On fears of an economic downturn
While much of the country and most of the state has rebounded from the recession, we’ve seen that the working families (in Center Line) have not seen the same improvements to their household budgets. If we take another hit to the economy, I’m very concerned about how that will impact the people in my community. We’re seeing it in the schools as well - higher rates of free or reduced lunchers - which is an indicator of poverty that has broader implications for educational need.