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Last-minute lawmaking to bring relief to career and college-ready high school seniors

Galonski applauds alternative pathways, sets sights on permanent solution
December 6, 2018
Tavia Galonski News

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today announced the Ohio House will tonight pass Senate changes to House Bill 491, which extend alternative pathways to graduation for 2019 and 2020 Ohio high school seniors.

“Though I share the frustration of students and families who have been looking for a graduation solution from the Statehouse for almost a year, I am happy we will ultimately extend alternative graduation pathways through 2020,” said Galonski. “We have a lot of work left to do to ensure stability and consistency in Ohio’s ever-changing graduation requirements, so students can plan for their future and have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

The Akron lawmaker, who serves on the House Education Committee, introduced her own legislation, House Bill 630, to extend alternative pathways. The bill gained the attention of concerned students and parents, but was only given one hearing by majority Republicans. Galonski’s bill would have given career and college-ready Ohio high school seniors the opportunity to graduate in 2019 and 2020, similar to the language ultimately included in HB 491.

“I am committed to working toward fair requirements that recognize individual student success and performance instead of putting too much weight on standardized testing alone to determine graduation,” added Galonski. “We can’t afford to hold career and college-ready students back just because education standards in Columbus are broken.”

According to the Ohio Department of Education, some 50,000 students were at risk of not graduating in 2019 due to an overreliance on standardized testing – an approach that has been roundly criticized by lawmakers of both political parties.

After tonight’s vote, House Bill 491 will head to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for his anticipated signature.