COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) this week voted in support of legislation that would ease the graduation requirements for this year’s graduating class to match the requirements implemented for last year’s graduating class, addressing a concern brought forward by Ohio schools.
House Bill 491 requires the State Board of Education to issue substitute licenses to speech-language pathologists, audiologists, registered nurses, physical therapists and other professionals. However, the bill was amended to clarify temporary alternative graduation pathways for 2019 and 2020 high school graduations.
- Extending the options for the class of 2018 to the class of 2019 with no changes
- Extending those options to the class of 2020 with certain modifications:
- The GPA requirement would be cumulative 2.5 for the final two years of high school, instead of just the senior year
- The capstone project would have to comply with ODE (Ohio Department of Education) guidance on the components of a successful project and the process for evaluation. The guidance must ensure that each capstone project is designed as a culmination of the student’s high school experience
- The work/community service hours would have to comply with ODE guidance on approval and verification of the hours
- Requires ODE guidance for the class of 2020 changes to be issued by May 31, 2019
- Requires ODE, in consultation with the business community and as confirmed by resolution of the State Board of Education, to present its recommendations for a long-term graduation fix and transition plan to the House and Senate education committees by April 1, 2019
“This pressing issue was brought up numerous times both in my frequent meetings with Wood County’s superintendents and in calls and emails from constituents across the district,” Gavarone said. “Extending the alternative pathways for graduation to the classes of 2019 and 2020 was a big priority of mine, and I am happy with what we have accomplished for Ohio’s students.”
The bill now goes to the governor for his consideration.