School Districts May Get Less Flexibility

School Districts May Get Less Flexibility

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The recently enacted school reforms may result in school districts having less flexibility in scheduling and graduation requirements.

A state Board of Education committee met Monday to discuss the development of competency-based graduation envisioned in the reforms.

The changes include increasing the required graduation units from 15 to 18.

To these 18 units of core curriculum -- including math, language, science and others -- six units could be added for released time and other electives, for a total of 24 credits.

"If you went to 18 units, I would suggest you basically go to a six-period base per year," said state Superintendent Steve Laing. "All those schools that are on eight-period days are going to be really concerned."

Weber and Davis high schools now have a schedule with eight classes over two days.

District administrators hope the changes won't be as restrictive as described.

"The state has never in the past dictated the type of schedule individual districts have," said Jeff Stephens, curriculum director for Weber School District. "I wouldn't like to see that, either from the state board or the state Legislature. Local school boards have always had the autonomy to make site-based decisions."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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