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Class of 2028 will have new graduation requirements after action by the Kansas State Board of Education

Class of 2028 will have new graduation requirements after action by the Kansas State Board of Education

Members of the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) have approved amendments to the Kansas Administrative Regulations (K.A.R.). that govern new minimum high school graduation requirements that will go into effect for the class of 2028, this fall’s incoming freshmen. 

After holding a statutorily required public hearing on May 14 on the proposed amendments to K.A.R. 91-31-35, board members voted to approve the amendments during their meeting the next day on May 15.

Currently, Kansas requires a minimum of 21 credits to graduate from high school. The number of credits will remain the same, but the following constitutes how the 21 credits will be obtained going forward:

  • Instead of four credits of English language arts (ELA), students will now need 3.5 credits of ELA and one-half credit of communication.
  • Addition of a STEM elective.
  • Instead of one physical education credit, students will now need a half credit of P.E. and a half credit for health.
  • Instead of six electives, they will now need a half credit for financial literacy and 4.5 electives aligned with their Individual Plans of Study (IPS).

The graduation requirements also include student completion of at least two postsecondary assets (as defined by the KSBE). During the board’s May 15 meeting, members approved the modification of an asset and the addition of another to the established list of postsecondary assets high school students can choose from to meet their graduation requirements. One asset includes students having an attendance rate of 95%, up from 90%. Another asset includes the student serving as an officer for a career and technical student organization, or CTSO (See below for the full list of postsecondary assets). 

Before the board’s vote on the amendments, several board members said they couldn’t agree to adopt the requirement that a student complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, application. (If the completion of the FAFSA ultimately becomes a requirement, any student, family or school would still have the ability to opt out of completing the FAFSA.)

The updated graduation requirements, including the submission of the FAFSA, are the result of work done by the KSDE’s Graduation Task Force, created in 2021, and the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) to encourage students to apply for financial aid for their postsecondary education plans.

KBOR staff have reported an estimated $40.5 million of federal aid went unused by Kansas students who graduated from high school in May of 2023. The federal money has long been seen as a vehicle for students to pursue their higher education who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Board members agreed to further the discuss the FAFSA item during their monthly meeting, June 11-12, in Topeka.

The following is a list of state board-approved postsecondary assets students can choose from to fulfill graduation requirements:

  • ACT composite (Score of 21 or higher)
  • WorkKeys level (Silver or higher)
  • 9+ college hours  
  • State Assessment scores of 3 or 4 in math, ELA, science
  • ASVAB per requirements of military branch selected
  • Senior project/senior exit interviews
  • SAT score (1060 or higher)
  • Completing Board of Regents curriculum
  • International Baccalaureate Exam (4+)
  • Advanced Placement Exam (3+)
  • 95% attendance in high school
  • Youth Apprenticeships
  • 40 or more community service hours
  • Client-centered projects
  • Workplace learning directly related to IPS
  • Industry recognized certifications
  • Seal of Biliteracy
  • CTE Scholar
  • Eagle Scout or Gold Scout
  • Two or more high school athletics/activities
  • State level Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) Officer
Posted: May 16, 2024,
Comments: 0,

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