Rolfes bill to help students wins approval in Senate and House

Sen. Christine Rolfes - Photo courtesy of the Washington State Legislature
Sen. Christine Rolfes
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Washington State Legislature

OLYMPIA – A bill sponsored by Sen. Christine Rolfes to help high school seniors be better prepared for a career or for college has passed in both the Senate and House.

“More opportunities for kids to take classes, means more opportunity for their futures,” said Rolfes, a 23rd District lawmaker and Bainbridge Island Democrat. “Increased credit requirement for graduation ensures seniors move on to the next phase of their life more prepared for success.”

Raising graduation credit requirements from 20 to 24 has been a priority of both Democrats and Republicans in discussions about improving education in Washington. Rolfes’ bill will take $97 million that was appropriated last year to increase instructional hours, and apply it directly to the implementation of the 24 credit requirement.

The bill also maintains the requirement for increased instructional hours, but allows districts the flexibility to implement this increase in a way that works best for their students.

Senate Bill 6522 also increases opportunities for students to take math and science classes, including laboratory sciences.

SB 6522 passed on a vote of 45-2 in the Senate, and 93-5 in the House.

“I think this got such wide bipartisan support because it uses taxpayer dollars to the greatest benefit,” Rolfes said.

“From creating a task force that will help more students with special needs earn high school diplomas, to meeting the need for increased classes in areas like math and science, this bill is a measurable investment in our kids’ future,” she said.



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