Pta Studies Graduation Proposal

Council Defers Decision On Service Requirement

October 09, 1991|By Megan McNeill | Megan McNeill,Contributing writer

Saying its members need more time to review proposed changes in graduation requirements, the Howard County PTA Council has delayed votingon the changes until next week.

The state's proposed changes, which would include 75 hours of community or school service, are being reviewed by PTAs statewide in preparation for a public hearing Oct. 29before the Maryland Board of Education.

The proposal sparked a spirited debate at the county PTA Council meeting Monday.

Ellen Rennels, first vice president of the council, questioned where the schools would get money to implement the proposed changes. She cited the 75-hour service requirement, asking how and at what cost schools could keep track of the students' service hours.

"They're telling us that we have to set up all of these new things, and yet they're not giving us any money to do it and they're nottelling us how to raise the money to do it," she said. "This is going to be a major problem."

Questions also were raised about a proposal to allow students to use participation on high school athletic teams toward their physical education requirement.

High school students currently get eight weeks of health education during physical education classes, but under the state's proposal, students could bypassthe classes.

"There would be no room for education on drug abuse,child abuse of any kind, sexually transmitted diseases. Any kind of information on health would not be in this curriculum," said Judy Butler, health chairwoman for the council.

Council members voted downa motion to oppose the entire package, opting instead to take the proposal back to area coordinators for discussion. The eight area coordinators, who belong to the PTA Council executive committee, will relay decisions reached by the delegates when the committee next meets, next Wednesday.

The new graduation requirements would increase the total number of credits needed from 20 to 21. They also would requirestudents to earn four credits instead of three in math and social studies, and two credits in foreign language or advanced technology education, a foreign language alternative for vocational students.

Ifaccepted, the proposed changes would take effect during the 1993-1994 school year.

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