Washington Legislature passes graduation waiver measure

Pressure Builds On Schools To Reopen During Pandemic
Ted S. Warren

Hand sanitizer, wipes, and surgical masks rest on a desk in a fourth-grade classroom, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, at Elk Ridge Elementary School in Buckley, Wash. The school has had some students in classrooms for in-person learning since September of 2020, but other students who attend the school are still learning remotely. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee visited the school Tuesday to observe classrooms and take part in a discussion with teachers and administrators about plans to further open in-person learning in Washington in the future.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Legislature has approved a bill that would waive some graduation requirements for individual students during a state of emergency, like the current coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate on Tuesday passed the measure on a 45-2 vote, and it now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. The House passed the bill on a 85-11 vote last month.

The measure is a more permanent extension of a measure passed last session, which allowed school districts to provide temporary waivers for students in the class of 2020 who were on track to graduate before the pandemic disrupted their learning.

It allows school districts to apply through the State Board of Education to provide emergency waivers from testing requirements or credit requirements if a local, state or national emergency causes significant disruption to a student’s schooling.

Schools already have the option to waive two of the elective credits if all the other requirements are met.

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This story has been corrected to show the Senate vote was 45-2.