August 28, 2015
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Urges High School Diplomas be Granted Immediately to All Students Affected by Recent CAHSEE Legislation
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Friday urged all local educational agencies throughout the state to immediately begin issuing diplomas to those students who have met all other high school graduation requirements in the 2014-15 school year except the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).
Senate Bill 725, authored by Senator Loni Hancock, passed by legislators, and signed this week by Gov. Jerry Brown, eliminated the CAHSEE requirement for an estimated 5,000 students who were unable to take the July exit exam after the test was no longer available.
"This is a key part of the legislation the California Department of Education sponsored back in February to assure students would still get their high school diplomas and thus be assured of their admission to our four-year universities would not be impeded," Torlakson said.
In a letter to county and district superintendents, charter school administrators, and CAHSEE coordinators, Torlakson wrote, "Local educational agencies may immediately begin issuing diplomas to eligible students."
"Getting these students their diplomas as soon as possible will clear up any doubts regarding whether they qualify for employment or college," he said.
Torlakson is sponsoring a separate bill, Senate Bill 172 by Sen. Carol Liu, which would suspend the CAHSEE requirement for students in the school years of 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18. That legislation is being closely monitored by the California Department of Education. The passage of this legislation would give the state "the opportunity to develop and examine recommendations for approaches to productive graduation policies that keep California moving toward higher standards for college and career readiness and higher graduation rates," Torlakson said in his letter.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100