Putting Education Reform To The Test

How Florida High School Graduation Requirements Will Change in 2013-2014

oscarandtara / Flickr

Lawmakers say they are not lowering the bar by easing some high school graduation requirements.

Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled to sign an education bill which changes high school graduation requirements, expands career education options and creates new elementary and middle school computer training programs.

The most significant change is to high school graduation requirements. For students beginning high school in the 2013-2014 school year, the bill will eliminate some required math and science courses while allowing students to substitute career training for math and science requirements.

No longer required: Algebra II, Chemistry and Physics. Students would only have to pass an Algebra I end-of-course exam. In other classes, end-of-course exams will count for 30 percent of the total grade but passage is not required to graduate.

The bill also creates a voluntary “scholar” diploma with additional requirements.Students would have to take: Algebra II, statistics or another advanced math course; Physics or Chemistry and another advanced science course; two credits of a foreign language; an Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or dual enrollment course.

Students seeking a scholar diploma must also pass additional end-of-course exams.

Students taking career education courses — an aerospace or information technology training program, for instance — may be able to exchange some of those credits for the required courses. The State Board of Education will determine which job training credits can be used towards graduation requirements.

The bill creates cyber security and digital arts programs for elementary school students, with bonus funding for schools when students complete the programs.

Schools will also design the Florida Digital Tools Certificate for middle school students with bonusĀ funding for schools when students earn the certificate. The program would teach word processing, spreadsheets and creating multimedia presentations including text, graphics and sound.


  • John,
    How is the governor balancing signing a bill that eliminates some science and math requirements with his backing of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as a huge focus of most of his education plans?

    • StateImpactJOC


      For the most part, students will still need to take the same number of math and science courses to earn a high school diploma. The big difference is which classes are required.

      And students getting science and math education in career-training programs will be able to use those classes in exchange for other advanced math and courses — namely Algebra II, Chemistry and Physics. The goal is that the job training will be as challenging as the no longer required science and math classes.

      The idea is that these new graduation requirements will allow/encourage students to take more science- and math-based job training.

    • Dr Lee


  • John,
    How does the Governor balance signing a bill eliminating some math and science requirements with making STEM such a major part of his education plan?

  • Pinky

    First of all let me point out that it was very difficult reading this poorly written article, the person apparently did not proof read it before they submitted it. I should not have to imagine what word the author wanted to use and mentally submit it in order to finish the sentence.

  • Slugger

    I am going into my senior year of high school, do these laws apply to me? Or do I still need my Algbra 2 and geometry credits to graduate?

    • StateImpactJOC

      No, the new graduation requirements apply to students beginning 9th grade this fall. Line 1160: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/1076/BillText/er/HTML

    • smh

      But if you are looking to go to college I suggest you take it. Since it is a requirement

      • Daniel Alvarez

        For universities. Not community collages. Such as ITT Tech and Keiser. Just saying.

  • lauren

    I am in 10th grade this year, so the biology and geometry eoc’s won’t count as passing the grade right? Do these new requirements apply to me?

    • StateImpactJOC

      No, the new requirements apply to those entering 9th grade this year. Line 1160: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/1076/BillText/er/HTML

      • orville shepherd

        hi im a senior this year and I have pass all my eocs ,except for the geometry eoc, my question is will it prevent me from graduating if I don’t have it

  • Ani

    Physics, Chemistry, and Algebra II were never required to graduate. The requirements are already vague enough for students to get away with taking a bunch of easy filler courses that probably won’t prepare them for higher education (3 math credits equal to or greater than algebra and 3 natural science classes, two of which have a lab components ). Most public universities have tougher requirements, which would explain why Florida’s students usually choose to remain in-state. What I don’t understand is how this new bill will affect future students. Would these career-education programs replace those useless (I say useless because the students taking these will probably need remedial courses if they enter community college) lower-level math courses?

  • smh

    That’s not funny dude do night school to regain those credits and you are not in 12th grade with zero credits because then you would not be in 12th grade

  • Amber

    So if you don’t pass algebra 1 in 9th grade you wont get a high school diploma basically?

  • carlena harned

    My colleagues were wanting FL 12.902(e) earlier today and found an online service with an online forms library . If people need FL 12.902(e) too , here’s https://goo.gl/iDSLZj

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »