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Students Gaining More Graduation Options

Thanks in large part to PSEA members’ advocacy, a bill giving high school seniors more options to fulfill graduation requirements has become law.

The new state law will allow students who do not score proficient on the Keystone exams to demonstrate their readiness to graduate through alternative routes. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the new law as Act 158 on Oct. 24. It was sponsored by Sen. Tom McGarrigle, R-Chester/Delaware.

PSEA members have voiced strong support for the new graduation options throughout the legislative process, sending nearly 4,000 emails to lawmakers, and McGarrigle has said passage “would have been impossible without PSEA’s advocacy and support.’’

PSEA Vice President Rich Askey praised McGarrigle, other legislators who supported the bill, and Wolf.

“Standardized tests aren’t the only ways to measure students’ abilities,’’ Askey said. “Students’ academic records reflect outstanding and unique accomplishments that shouldn’t be ignored.’’

The new graduation options would take effect when the delay in using the Keystone exams as graduation requirements expires, which under the bill would take place during the 2021-22 school year.

It comes on the heels of legislation passed by the Legislature last year, and supported by PSEA, to allow career and technical education students to demonstrate their competency to graduate through their grades, alternative assessments, and industry-based certifications.

Visit to learn more about Senate Bill 1095’s proposed new graduation options.