The Ohio Senate unanimously approved a two-year, $69 billion budget Thursday that includes new high school graduation requirements.
Beginning with the class of 2023, Ohio high school students would need to pass tests for Algebra I and English II instead of the previous seven tests required to graduate.
Students also would have to earn two diploma seals in areas like job readiness or community service.
Tony Podojil of Alliance for High Quality Education, is part of a consortium of businesses and educators that proposed these new standards to lawmakers. The seals will help keep students engaged, he says.
“Because now the things that they do where maybe part of their high school experience will now be recognized as a critical component of what they do,” Podojil says. “So the students that are in the performing arts or in the marching band – that counts. And that is a really important piece of their high school experience because it is a part of the graduation process.”
The budget bill now heads to conference committee, and needs the governor’s signature by June 30.
The House version of the budget does not include the graduation provisions, but members of the conference committee are expected to agree to the changes.