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Inslee signs measure waiving some graduation requirements during pandemic

The halls inside Bothell High School stand empty Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Bothell.
Elaine Thompson
The Associated Press file
The halls inside Bothell High School stand empty Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Bothell.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a measure that would waive some graduation requirements for individual students during a state of emergency, like the current coronavirus pandemic.

Inslee signed the billTuesday. The Senate passed the measure on a 45-2 vote last month, after the House previously passed the bill on an 85-11 vote. The measure has an emergency clause and will take effect immediately.

“Our students have demonstrated significant resilience in the face of our recent hardship, and we are happy to support them achieving this milestone of high school graduation,” Inslee said before signing the bill.

The new law is a more permanent extension of a measure passed last session, which allowed school districts to provide temporary waivers for students in the class of 2020 who were on track to graduate before the pandemic disrupted their learning.

It allows school districts to apply through the State Board of Education to provide emergency waivers from testing requirements or credit requirements if a local, state or national emergency causes significant disruption to a student’s schooling.

Schools already have the option to waive two of the elective credits if all the other requirements are met.

Inslee took action on another bill Tuesday related to schools and the pandemic, signing a measure that grants the State Board of Education the authority to establish terms and conditions for allowing private schools to maintain approval status when unable to fulfill certain requirements due to an emergency.

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