Dropout prevention bill by Rep. Michelle Caldier receives public hearing

A bill aimed at reducing the high school dropout rate for at-risk youth was heard in the House Education Committee Feb. 10.

House Bill 1855, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Caldier, would allow students who are considered at risk to waive local school district graduation requirements. It would not affect statewide graduation requirements.

An example of a local district requirement is in South Kitsap High School, where a semester of swim class is required for graduation. The state requires two credits of health and fitness classes, but does not specify what kind of classes are required.

“While most children are able to satisfy the local school requirements at the same time as the state requirements, children who move frequently have unnecessary burdens placed on them, and place them at high risk for dropping out,” said Caldier, R-Port Orchard. “With the help of local school officials, I drafted a bill that would waive the local school district requirements for at-risk youth.”

The proposal has bipartisan support.

“Education was my path out of poverty, so I know how important it is for at-risk youth to graduate so they can become independent and go on to have fulfilling careers and lives,” Caldier said. “I am passionate about improving our educational system and reducing unnecessary barriers placed on teachers and students.”

The bill now awaits action by the committee to move forward.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov