Alabama State Board of Education members voted to add certain college and career readiness requirements Thursday as a prerequisite to graduate from Alabama high schools starting in 2028.

The measure passed the board by a vote of 5-2.

"This step is not about adding more requirements," Gov. Kay Ivey said at the meeting. "It's about measuring what matters. This vote will focus our attention and energy on making sure resources are where they need to be. Parents want their children to graduate high school with the skills needed to excel in college and career. Since the rule does not take effect until 2028, we have plenty of time to work with local school districts to expand access to a variety of college and career readiness indicators to meet the interests of every student. There's nothing more important that we can do than to graduate our students ready for the next step."

Under the proposal, students would have to show one of the following in addition to having enough credits to graduate beginning in the 2027-2028 academic year:

  • Earning a benchmark score from any subject area in the ACT college entrance exam; 

  • Earning a qualifying score of three or higher on an Advanced Placement exam:

  • Earning a qualifying score of four or higher in an International Baccalaureate exam:

  • Earning college credit while in high school;

  • Earning a silver or gold level on the ACT WorkKeys exam;

  • Completing an in-school youth apprenticeship program;

  • Earning a career technical industry credential; 

  • Being accepted into the military before graduation;

  • Attaining career and technical education completer status

  • Any additional college and career readiness indicator approved by the State Board of Education.

The requirements don't apply to special education diplomas. 

Students who don't graduate due to not satisfying one of the college and career readiness requirements have two years after their initial failure to graduate to meet one of the requirements.

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