Caldier bill facilitating on-time graduation of at-risk youth signed into law

A bill sponsored by Rep. Michelle Caldier to help facilitate on-time grade level progression and graduation for at-risk youth was signed into law by the governor Thursday. House Bill 1444 will require school districts to waive local graduation requirements and issue diplomas to qualifying students who enroll in three or more school districts throughout the year and still meet state graduation requirements. State law provides similar waivers for students of parents in the military.

“Changing schools mid-year can present significant challenges for students trying to obtain enough credits for graduation,” said Caldier, R-Port Orchard. “Students can have perfect attendance and excellent test scores, but still fail to graduate because of different local graduation requirements. This bill will help prevent these students from falling behind their peers because of circumstances outside of their control. I’m grateful for the strong, bipartisan support it received in both chambers, and look forward to seeing the positive change that will result from this new policy being implemented.”

As of 2015, homeless and foster youth had the lowest four-year and five-year graduation rates of all student groups in Washington state (Source: OSPI).

Washington’s current 4- and 5-year graduation rates, listed by student group (2016)

House Bill 1444 will take effect later this year.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov