House Bill 91- Local school districts begin processing diploma applicants

House Bill 91- Local school districts begin processing diploma applicants

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A second chance at a major life milestone is now a reality for dozens of people seeking high school diplomas.This is because of the newly effective House Bill 91 that eliminated the graduation test.

Administrators in Muscogee County don't have an official count yet, but 40 people in Troup County found out today that they will be getting their diploma thanks to the new legislation.

Troup County has had more than 80 applicants file so far, and many are still pending since administrators say digging through 30 plus years of paperwork can take awhile.

At least 8,000 high school students dating back to 1981 could now be eligible to get their diploma after a new bill eliminates the graduation test as a requirement.

"It's exciting just to be apart of a school district where you see this is what we're about. We're about educating. This House Bill 91 has made it possible for those people who had not passed the high school graduation test to actually earn their high school diploma, so we're excited right along with them," said Valerie Fuller with the Muscogee County School District.

Muscogee and Troup County school district administrators have now established an official process for local applicants who qualify, after calls and e-mails of interest have flooded their offices since the law's enactment March 30th.

It's something that's generating hope, new opportunities, and positive feedback officials claim."They'll be able to extend their earning potential, go back to school, join the military, how they passed all their classes and just didn't pass this exam," said Yolanda Stephen with the Troup County School District.

Some viewers have expressed concern that it could be a give-away or lowering of educational standards, however Fuller said, "No, you must be eligible." Meaning if you passed all your classes, met all state and local requirements, but didn't pass the graduation test, the state of Georgia has decided you earned the right to a diploma.

As the first batch of applicants got their approval in Troup County, talk of special celebrations is up in the air. "We've talked about it but nothing has been concrete yet," said Stephen.

If you're an applicant in Muscogee County and graduated after 2009 you should contact your high school directly to apply. If you graduated before 2009 you'll need to contact the districts record department.

In Troup County all applicants should apply directly though their central district office.

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