Oregon bill could make graduation easier for kids experiencing hardships

SALEM, Ore. – Legislation that could make it easier for homeless and foster youth to graduate high school soared through the Oregon House in a unanimous vote Thursday.

House Bill 3267 would direct school districts, including public charter schools, to waive certain graduation requirements that are not established by state law if the student is homeless, a runaway or a foster child. Only students who were between grades 9 and 12 at the time of the hardship would qualify.

Current law allows school districts to have additional graduation requirements for students that could include additional or special courses and higher credit hours.

Under HB 3267, school districts can still maintain their current standards, but students that fall under certain qualifications would only be required to live up to state standards to graduate.

According to KTVZ, co-chief sponsor Rep. Janelle S. Bynum (D-Happy Valley) said, “Homeless and foster youth experience a myriad of barriers to school success, including high rates of ‘mobility’ or moving schools. When these students move to a new school, often multiple times in four years, many of the credits they’ve already earned do not transfer.”

The bill will now be considered by the Senate.

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