State Lawmakers Refine Grad Requirements

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The state House on Thursday voted to adopt tougher high school graduation requirements for Michigan students.

The House plan for the most part follows recommendations made by the State Board of Education, but is not as stringent in some areas. The proposal, which passed 70-31, is now headed to the Senate.

Students would be required to complete four credits each in math and English, three each in science and social studies and one each in physical education and the arts. Students also would have to complete some of their learning online.

The plan would have more flexibility than the board's original proposal.

Students could take some of the math and science requirements in middle school, for example, as long as the subject area covered is the same as would be covered in a high school course. And school districts that have trouble coming up with qualified teachers in certain subjects could work with the state to get more time to comply.

Students would be able to get out of the required curriculum and switch into a more personalized alternative program before their junior years, or earlier in some cases if the student has turned 16.