Disabled to Get One-Year Requirement Reprieve
An estimated 20,000 special-education students from the class of 2006 have yet to pass the California High School Exit Exam, but it looks like it wont matter — at least for one year.
Legislation announced Thursday would allow these disabled students to graduate without passing the test — this year only — as long as they fulfill other graduation requirements. The legislation is supported by legislative leaders, the governor and state education officials.
Senate Bill 517 addresses the short-term demand of the so-called Chapman lawsuit filed by special education students against the state — the suitcalled for a temporary injunction to suspend the exit exam requirement.
Still pending are the lawsuits long-term allegations.
Plaintiff attorney Melissa Kasnitz said the same problems affecting the class of 2006 have yet to be resolved for future graduating classes.
What the lawsuit says is that if you are choosing to make students diplomas contingent on passing a single exam, you need to make sure the process is fair and that students have an opportunity to learn the material before denying a diploma, said Kasnitz, managing attorney for Oakland-based Disability Rights Advocates.
That said, Kasnitz noted she supports the legislation as a short-term solution.