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Minor Changes Made to Kansas High School Graduation Requirements

TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) – Kansas students will need a few different classes to earn their high school diplomas in coming years. But a course on general life skills is not among them.

The Kansas News Service reports that the Board of Education approved some minor changes to the list of credits required for graduation. Starting with this year’s eighth-graders, high school graduates will need a half-credit each of communications, health and financial literacy.

The changes don’t include a class on general life skills, even though board member Melanie Haas says students told her they’d like one. “It was how to change a tire, and cooking, and how do I apply for a job, and what does it look like to get my first apartment? The things that are causing them angst as they arrive at the end of their high-school career,” she said.

Kansas requires students to pass at least 21 credits to graduate from high school, but most districts require more. The board briefly considered requiring a life skills class.

But board member Ann Mah says the state hasn’t set standards for what that means. “Life skills is different all across the state. And so mandating something we can’t even define, at the last minute, I think makes us look a little irresponsible,” Mah said.

Kansas graduates also will be required to fill out an application for federal student aid unless they or their parents opt out.

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