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Businesses Want Looser Graduation Rules

Lone Star and State Capitol Building
KUT News
Lawmakers can raise money for their campaigns until 30 days before the Legislature convenes.

Capitol watchers predicted that this year’s Texas legislative session would be rife with talk about K-12 education. That’s turning out to be the case. The talk was expected to revolve around restoring funds cut in 2011, but right now it’s about high school curricula.

Emily Donahue of KUT News spoke with Kate Alexander, who covers the Legislature for the Austin American-Statesman. She reported this week on a number of bills filed seeking to loosen high school graduation requirements and the reaction. A coalition of industry groups behind the bipartisan push includes the Texas Chemical Council, the Texas Association of Manufacturers, the National Federation of Independent Business and the Texas Oil and Gas Association.

There is a very organized coalition of industry and trade groups that are getting involved for the first time, and some of the frustration or the concerns about student performance on the STAAR exams has made legislators realize that perhaps students need additional options beyond college.

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.
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