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New high school graduation requirements

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Amarillo, TX - Schools in Texas are preparing for changes in graduation requirements due to house bill five.

House Bill 5 will replace the 4 by 4 plan, which requires high school students to take four years of each core subject.

The goal of the bill is to allow more flexibility for students planning to bypass college to head straight into the workforce.

Marc Hamil at Canyon ISD says 8th graders will be the most affected by changes when registering for next years classes.

"When we pre register our 8th graders each one of those students according to House Bill 5 will need to choose one of five endorsement paths. And there is STEM which is science, technology, engineering, math. There is an arts and humanities endorsement, there is a business and industry, and a multi- disciplinary. And so kids can follow their interests based on these endorsements."

The new requirements have received some criticism that 8th grade may be too young to decide a graduation plan.

And that it may prohibit some who decide they want to go to college later in high school.

A WT professor, Jean A. Stuntz, says it is important for students to think of their future when deciding their graduation plan.

"They need to be really on their toes to help these students make good decisions. In 8th grade, who knows if you are going to go to college or not. Not everyone needs to go to college. But if you are then, yes you need to be taking the classes that will help you when you get here."

CISD says the new plan will help most students pursue their interest.

"The most important thing to keep in mind is that the intent of the legislation is not to lock a student in to a specific area, but to allow them to start investigating their options at an earlier age and starting to clarify some of their interest and their strengths and I think this new endorsement process is going to do that"
Canyon ISD plans on starting the registration process in early February.

They say they will be communicating with parents as much as possible, so students can make the right selections for classes.