News - 2011 September Board Meeting
News release


September 12, 2011

State Board of Education Considers Revisions to State High School Graduation Requirements

TACOMA, Wash. – The Washington State Board of Education’s September 14-15 meeting at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma will include a discussion of potential changes to graduation requirements for Washington high school students.

Proposed rule changes maintain the state-mandated number of credits at 20, but include the following adjustments:

  • Increase English from 3 to 4 credits.
  • Increase social studies from 2.5 to 3 credits (adding .5 credit of civics per RCW 28A.230.093).
  • Decrease electives from 5.5 to 4 credits.
  • Clarify that 2 credits of health and fitness are .5 credits health and 1.5 credits fitness.
  • Make satisfactory completion of Washington State history a noncredit requirement noted on students’ transcripts.
  • Substitute a non-time-based definition of a credit for the current time-based definition (150-hour credit requirement).
  • Enable a “two for one” policy that would allow students to earn one credit from taking a Career and Technical Education (CTE) equivalent course while satisfying two graduation requirements. For example, a student might take a CTE graphic arts course and concurrently meet the requirement for a fine arts course.

Note: Final rule changes will be reviewed during the November 2011 meeting and will take effect for the graduating class of 2016.

The rule changes largely provide greater flexibility to school districts by removing the 150-hour definition, changing Washington State history to a noncredit requirement, and empowering students to satisfy two requirements when they take CTE equivalent courses.

The reallocation of 1.5 credits will require adjustments from some districts. Approximately 16 percent of districts with high schools will need to add 1 credit of English, and/or.5 credit of social studies.

There will be time during the September meeting for public comment. A public hearing on the final rule language will be held during the November Board meeting.

The Board meeting is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, September 14, at 8:30 a.m.

The meeting agenda and materials are now available at:

Time for public comment will be provided. The public and news media are invited to attend.


Contact: Aaron Wyatt, Communications and Legislative Director

About the State Board of Education: The State Board of Education provides advocacy and strategic oversight of public education. The board is comprised of 16 members: five are elected by school board directors, seven are appointed by the Governor, two serve as student representatives, and one serves as a private school representative. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is also a member.

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