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Senate Committee Approves Changes to Graduation Requirements

Horia Varlan
Austin non-profit aimed at drawing girls into STEM education is getting ready to expand nationally.

The Texas Senate Education Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would overhaul the state’s high school graduation requirements.

The proposal reduces the English, math, science and social studies requirements and allows students to choose one of four paths towards a diploma.

It also offers more opportunities to take vocational and business electives.

Beth Deans is with Career Counseling Services, a non-profit organization that gives job and vocational training advice to youth and adults. She says vocational studies still teach basic math and science, just with a more hands on approach.

“There are some outdated curriculum that can be replaced with more applied skills and teaching to what’s really required in that vocation," Deans said.

But Sandra West with the Science Teachers Association of Texas argues the requirements should not change. She says science impacts everyone—not just those pursuing it as a career.

“Their consumer decisions, their health decisions, we have huge problems with obesity, water shortages, all kinds of issues that impact every citizen that these science courses address," Sandra said.

The bill now heads to a vote in the full Senate.

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