On Monday, March 30, 2015, Governor Nathan Deal signed House
Bill 91 into law, thereby creating a new code section, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-281.1. This
law became effective upon the Governor's signature.
This law provides that students shall no longer be required
to earn a passing score on any graduation tests to earn a high school diploma. The law also contains additional details and
requirements regarding the ability of students no longer enrolled to petition
the local board of education for a diploma for students whose
sole reason for not receiving a high school diploma was due to not passing any
part of the graduation tests.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) I currently have a waiver case for the Georgia High School Graduation Tests pending for consideration by the State Board of Education. What should I do?
Answer: The Georgia Department of Education will be mailing information regarding current waivers to local school systems notifying them that the new law allows them to award a diploma if the applicant has met all other local and state graduation requirements. You may contact your local school system for further information.
this law take effect?
The law took effect upon the Governor’s
signature on March 30, 2015.
tests are included in the law?
Answer: The law includes all subjects, forms and
versions of the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (English Language Arts,
Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies), Georgia High School Writing Test,
and Basic Skills Tests (Reading, Mathematics, and Writing). These tests are
inclusively referred to as “graduation tests” throughout this document.
far back does this law cover?
Answer: The law covers all graduation tests, beginning
with the Basic Skills Test which was administered to students who enrolled for
the first time in grade 9 on or after July 1, 1981.
student who is no longer enrolled in a Georgia public school, and did not
graduate for the sole reason that he or did not pass all of the graduation
tests, still receive a Georgia regular high school diploma?
Yes, individuals no longer enrolled in a public
school who were denied a high school diploma solely for not achieving a passing score on
any of the graduation tests and met all other local and state requirements may submit
a petition to the local school system to determine eligibility to receive a
high school diploma under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-281.1.
should a student do if he or she moved from the school system where he or she
went to high school?
An applicant should make a petition with the
school system where he or she last attended high school in Georgia.
should a person do if the high school he or she attended no longer exists or
merged with another high school?
Answer: In this case the individual should contact the
local school system last attended in Georgia.
will determine when all of the graduation requirements have been met?
Answer: The local school system will make the final
determination based on the state and local graduation requirements that were in
effect when the student entered ninth grade.
Is there a deadline for petitioning the local
board of education?
10) Can an individual who earned a General
Educational Development (GED) certificate and did not receive a regular
education diploma solely for not passing the graduation tests submit a petition
for a regular education diploma?
Answer: Yes, if the petitioner was a student who
previously failed to receive a high school diploma in this state or was denied
graduation solely for failing to achieve a passing score on the graduation