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New graduation requirements offering students control of their future


Starting next school year, incoming high school freshman will have new choices. Gone are the required classes of algebra II, speech, and a fourth year of science. Now high school students can cater their schedules to classes they want.

"It opens the door for those students to explore multiple pathways and take electives in multiple career opportunity fields," Midway ISD Assistant Superintendent Brent Merritt said.

It's part of the changes made by House Bill 5. It will free up class options for students, who want to take advantage of vocational and trade type classes.

Some educators understand that college isn't for every student, so the new flexible structure of new requirements will allow students to get the education they want.

"It does focus on every student. And so we can really highlight specific academic programs and career based programs that we have," Merritt said.

Several large school districts in the area like Midway, Killeen and Waco ISD already offer these options for students. But smaller school districts in the area are experiencing challenges when it comes to offering these kinds of classes for their students.

"Smaller schools are somewhat limited in what they can offer. I think what you are going to see is a continuation of what has been going on for a long time in Central Texas and that is schools working together," McGregor Assistant Superintendent James Lenamon said.

School districts like McGregor plan to reach out to the larger districts for help. They say despite their limitations, they still want to offer the same opportunities to their students.

"You want to be able to offer all of your kids a chance to do whatever they want to do. To pursue their goals," Lenamon said.

No matter the difficulties school districts have faced, most agree the changes made are beneficial to the only people that matter, the students.

To learn more about the details of new graduation requirements, ask your local high school or click here.

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