OLYMPIA – Washington high school students will need 24 credits to earn a diploma, with an extra credit of math and science, starting in 2019.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Thursday that legislators said will help give students a “meaningful diploma,” increasing both the number of credits and the overall hours of class for high school students.
The state Board of Education must adopt rules for the 24-credit graduation requirements with an eye toward the students going on to college or careers, and school districts must provide students with classes that allow them to complete those credits.
The state must provide the schools with enough money to help cover two laboratory science classes per student.
Senate Bill 6552 was one of a half-dozen education bills from the recent session signed into law Thursday. Inslee also signed bills that:
• Require the superintendent of public instruction and school districts to compile data on homeless students.
• Set up a council to develop Summer Knowledge Improvement Programs, which would extend the school year by 20 days during the summer in as many as 10 schools where 75 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
• Support the Washington Student Achievement Council goals for higher rates of high school diplomas and post-secondary certificates among adults by 2023. (Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized the bill’s intent.)
• Require school districts to publish copies of their labor contracts and budget information on their websites.
• Set up an 11-member “work group” to study ways to improve the College Bound Scholarship Program, which provides aid to low-income students who pledge in grade 7 or 8 to graduate from high school with at least a C average and without a felony conviction.