Gov. Deal signs bill making it easier for many to get a HS diploma

Thousands of former high school students who couldn’t pass a state graduation test that used to be required will find it easier to obtain diplomas under a bill signed by Gov. Nathan Deal Monday.

House Bill 91 retroactively eliminates any tests that are no longer required for students to graduate from high school, including the Georgia High School Graduation Test. Passing that multi-part test, established in 1994, was eliminated as a graduation requirement in 2011.

The law allows former students who failed the tests to petition for a diploma from the local school board where they were last enrolled, instead of going through a drawn-out waiver process through the state education board. Deal said it could help thousands of former students who have been held back by their lack of a diploma.

“This will hopefully be an opening of a door for them,” Deal said.

The measure was sponsored by House Education Chairman Brooks Coleman, R-Duluth, who said some students took the test 20 or more times and failed a section, depriving them of a diploma despite the fact that they got good grades.

He expects more than 9,000 Georgians could now get diplomas they couldn’t get in the past because of the old requirement.

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