The House Education committee unanimously approved a bill creating three high school diploma options for Florida students.
Students could choose from scholar, college and career and industry options. The scholar option requires high-level courses — such as Physics and foreign language — while the industry option lets students opt for professional training classes and certification.
The bill, H.B. 7091, initially raised concerns — most notably from Patricia Levesque, director of the Foundation For Florida’s Future — that lawmakers were lowering the bar for some students. But school officials believe new graduation requirements, which included passing end-of-course exams, meant more students would struggle with mandatory courses.
Those concerns had been smoothed over Wednesday afternoon. Levesque supported the bill. Education Commissioner Tony Bennett did as well. The committee’s Democrats and Republicans both voted in favor.
Rep. Mark Danish, a teacher and Democrat from Hillsborough County, said he has long supported alternative paths to earn a high school diploma.
For more details on the three diploma options and the Senate’s plan to change graduation requirements, click here.