HB 642/ SB 514 will allow the Board of Education to adopt regulations adjusting the formula for calculating the final high school accreditation rating to add points for each student obtaining a diploma and industry certification, industry pathway certification, or an occupational competency credential in a career and technical education program. The additional points will only be used to help school accreditation but will not be used to obtain or deny accreditation. This bill should not have a significant labor impact on high schools and should actually help schools that are struggling to meet the accreditation standards set by the state. This bill may require local school boards to adopt policies under instruction in regard to meeting accreditation standards.
High schools around the Commonwealth struggled to meet the new high school accreditation standards set this year. Currently, high school are awarded points for the number of diplomas awarded, number of students who finish with a GED and the number of students who are completing their education enrolled elsewhere. Each student must be accounted for. These reports are based on cohorts of students who start ninth grade together and should graduate within four years. This past summer, I recall working with the high school principal, guidance counselors and the data technician to make sure that each student could be found (if they didn’t complete graduation with us). This painstaking process helped us meet the new accreditation standard of 85 points for full accreditation. It does not appear that this law would be labor intensive for high school administration. In fact, they will likely appreciate any provision that could only be used to help schools meet accreditation.