On March 30, 2015, Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 91 into law. This law states that students are no longer required to earn a passing score on any graduation test to earn a high school diploma. Graduation test means the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) including all subjects – English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, the Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT), and the Basic Skills Test. This law covers students who enrolled for the 1st time in the 9th grade on or after July 1, 1981 through the graduating class of 2015.
Any student who did not receive a high diploma solely because he or she failed to pass a portion of the GHSGT/GHSWT or Basic Skills Test may now petition the local board of education to receive a high school diploma. Students must have met all local requirements, meaning they must have earned the appropriate number of credits needed to graduate.
A student who was awarded a special education diploma or a certificate of completion or a student who has earned a General Educational Development (GED) certificate because he or she did not pass a portion of the graduation test is included in this law, provided he or she met all local graduation requirements.
A student who wishes to petition for his or her diploma should contact the last high school attended. The Thomaston-Upson School System welcomes individuals no longer enrolled in our schools 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 to submit a petition to the school system to determine eligibility to receive a high school diploma under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-281.1.
Individuals needing a petition or additional information, may contact Karen Puckett in the Upson-Lee High School guidance department at 706-647-7521. Petitions are also available at the front desk of the Thomaston-Upson School System’s Central Office, located at 205 Civic Center Drive. There is no time limit for a student wishing to request a diploma.
Karen Truesdale is the School and Community Relations Director for the Thomaston-Upson School System.