TEA News Releases Online Aug. 30, 2013
New foundation graduation plan
available to some 2013-14 seniors
AUSTIN - Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today informed Texas school districts of his intent to file rules that would allow some students completing the fourth year of high school during the 2013-2014 school year to graduate under the new Foundation High School Program established under House Bill 5 (HB 5).
The proposed rules will only apply to the small group of seniors who are able to complete the coursework required to graduate under the Foundation High School Program in 2013-2014 and who choose this option. This includes students who complete the required coursework during the summer of 2014, but not thereafter.
"While the majority of seniors this year will still graduate under the existing Minimum High School Program, Recommended High School Program, or Distinguished Achievement Program, some students may meet the requirements for the new Foundation High School Program and elect to graduate under that program," said Commissioner Williams. "Before making a final decision regarding the graduation program they will pursue, I strongly encourage students and their parents to consider the benefits of taking additional advanced math and science courses, and to fully research required or recommended coursework for admission to any higher education institution they may have interest in attending."
Commissioner Williams pointed out that the requirements for the endorsements and performance acknowledgments established under HB 5 have not been yet been determined by the State Board of Education (SBOE). As a result, a student who chooses to graduate under the Foundation High School Program in 2013-2014 will earn a foundation diploma only. The student will not have the option to earn an endorsement, the distinguished level of achievement, or a performance acknowledgment.
The SBOE has sole authority to determine the curriculum requirements for all the endorsement options and performance acknowledgments for upcoming classes of students. State Board members are working to adopt rules to specify the curriculum requirements for the Foundation High School Program and related components to be fully implemented in the 2014-2015 school year. Final SBOE decisions are expected in January 2014.
The Commissioner will be proposing rules under authority provided in specific provisions of HB 5 regarding the 2013-14 transition year. The proposed rules will be filed in the coming weeks and will be subject to public comment. Changes will be made, as appropriate, in response to those comments. The rules will then be adopted as final.
Commissioner Williams cautioned that the SBOE is likely to make different decisions about the Foundation High School Program requirements that will be in effect in future years. To stay informed about developments concerning HB 5 graduation requirements, visit House Bill 5:Foundation High School Program. (link updated 10/14/14)