High school seniors not meeting the testing benchmarks to graduate next year could have extra options on the table – that is, if Ohio lawmakers can pass a change before the end of the year.
These alternate pathways – which include attendance rate, GPA, a final project, community service, work experience or college credit courses – were created for the Class of 2018 when more than a third of seniors seemed to be falling short of the new, more stringent requirements.
Republican state Sen. Peggy Lehner of Kettering says the education committee, which she chairs, plans on extending those pathways for the Class of 2019 before session ends. Then, next year, lawmakers plan on passing a completely new set of standards, meant to be permanent.
“When they graduate and they get that diploma, they’re gonna actually be prepared for the next step in their life,” Lehner says.
Lehner would also like to grant alternate pathways for the Class of 2020 before session ends. But she thinks attendance would not be one of the options.
The Senate Education committee will most likely insert these changes into HB 477. That means the legislation would have to go through committee and onto the Senate floor before going back to the Ohio House for its approval of the changes.