Auburn lawmaker proposes 1 high school diploma

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) An Auburn lawmaker has authored a bill that would eliminate the state’s four high school diplomas in favor of one general diploma for graduates.

State Sen. Dennis Kruse, a Republican, has introduced a bill that would require the state board of education to establish one Indiana diploma for students who successfully complete high school graduation requirements. Currently, Indiana schools give out a general diploma, a Core 40 diploma, a Core 40 with Academic Honors diploma, or a Core 40 with Technical Honors diploma.

Senate Bill 177, as authored by Kruse, calls for one diploma, though with distinctions like Core 40 distinction, Core 40 academic honors distinction or Core 40 technical honors distinction.

The bill also would require students to meet course and credit requirements for an Indiana diploma. The current law requires each student to meet Core 40 course and credit requirements and allows a student to be exempted from these requirements.

Kruse chairs the Education and Career Development committee.

In a statement Monday morning, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said she supports Kruse’s measure.

“We are pleased Senator Kruse is addressing the issues surrounding the future of Indiana’s high school diploma,” said McCormick. “If passed, Senate Bill 177 will result in a fair and accurate reflection of school and student performance. While recent diploma concerns were created as a result of federal action, the Senator’s bill will keep the general diploma intact. Senator Kruse has the Department’s full support.”

Senate Bill 177 has been referred to Committee on Education and Career Development, which will hear the measure and vote to send it to the full Senate. There, the bill can be amended before a final vote.