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SB 0204 - Education; State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to award high school diplomas; provide

Tracking Level: Passed
Sponsor: Lindsey Tippins (R)
Last Action: 5/6/2021 - Effective Date 2021-07-01
Senate Committee: Higher Education
House Committee: Higher Education

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

GSBA-CWO Header 

SUMMARY:  LC 49 0554S SB 204/AP

The bill allows the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to provide an opportunity for individuals, including out-of-school youths who are at least 16 and meet other criteria (see below), to get a high school diploma in conjunction with their completion of one or more other components of the postsecondary technical program.

The State Board of the Technical College System must set comprehensive and detailed standards for public and private adult education and literacy providers as well as the standards and requirements for attaining a high school diploma through this program.  The diploma conferred by the TCSG Board must be comparable to the high school graduation requirements set by the State Board of Education for K-12 public school students.

The bill creates a new "Dual Achievement Program." The State Board of the Technical College System shall, in coordination with the State Board of Education, the Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Corrections, and the Office of Planning and  Budget, establish a pilot program to allow students who meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for enrollment in the Dual Achievement Program at a participating technical college, and upon successful completion of the program, be awarded a high school diploma.

The eligibility requirements are:

  • Be 16 or older
  • Have completed at least six of the nine following state required ninth and tenth grade level high school courses:  2 English courses, 2 mathematics courses, 2 science courses, 2 social studies courses, and 1 health and PE course as well as any state required assessments associated with the courses
  • Receive a score of admission acceptable on the readiness assessment required by the technical college system
  • Provide the following:
    • If an unemancipated minor:
      • Verification the student's parent/guardian attended a conference with their high school principal or designee as required in 20-2-690.1
      • A copy of the form required in 20-2-690.1(e) signed by the parent/guardian (the bill amends the information required on the form to include the potential loss of eligibility for accommodations, specialized instruction, and other services under IDEA and Section 504)
      • Written acknowledgment by the parent/guardian that withdrawal from high school may result in loss of eligibility for accommodations, specialized instruction, and other services under IDEA and Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act
      • Written acknowledgment that the high school diploma available through the Dual Achievement Program requires successful completion of the program
    • If an emancipated minor or a student 18, 19, or 20:
      • Written acknowledgment that the student has conferred with his/her high school principal or designee or a qualified designated official of the technical college system and discussed alternatives to withdrawing from high school and potential consequences of not having a high school diploma as listed
      • Written acknowledgment by the parent/guardian that withdrawal from high school may result in loss of eligibility for accommodations, specialized instruction, and other services under IDEA and Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act
      • Written acknowledgment that the high school diploma available under the program requires the student successfully complete it
  • Be withdrawn from a public high school in Georgia 

The State Board of Education and the State Board of the Technical College System are authorized to waive or provide variances to state rules, regulations, policies, and procedures needed to implement this pilot.  The waivers or variances will expire at the end of five years unless an earlier expiration is provided for.  The two Boards may also seek any federal waivers needed.

The TCSG Board shall determine the specific competencies concerning the skills and knowledge needed for completion of each component of the program, but they will determine the skills and knowledge needed to meet the requirements for a high school diploma for this program in consultation with the Department of Education and the State Board of Education. 

The pilot program, as determined by the State Board, may include up to five units of the technical college system for five years. It should include various geographic regions in the state.  The program must be reviewed annually and a report delivered by February 1st each year to the General Assembly.  The report should include any recommendations for its continued use, any needed changes, a comprehensive list of the waivers and variances requested, and whether each was granted in whole or in part.

To minimize the risk of students prematurely withdrawing from high school to participate in this program, the State Board (of TCSG) shall provide for preliminary review of academic records including transcripts submitted by the students. 

The State Board (of TCSG) must award a high school diploma to a student enrolled in the program who:

  • Completes all student counseling and assessment requirements of the program
  • Completes rigorous coursework at a participating technical college AND
  • Completes
    • A technical college associate degree program
    • A technical college diploma program OR
    •  At least 2 technical college certificate of credit programs in one specific career pathway

A student who meets the eligibility requirements listed above shall be deemed to have met all graduation requirements of the State Board of Education and shall not be subject to any assessments otherwise required for purposes of graduation.

This code section will be repealed July 1, 2026.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE:

July 1, 2021 


Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text