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Special Education Students May Get One-Year Reprieve From Exit Exam

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Sacramento, CA — Special education students could get a one-year reprieve from the requirement that they pass the state´s high school exit exam to get a diploma.

State officials and attorneys for disabled students have settled a class-action lawsuit that claimed the California High School Exit Exam discriminated against special education students.

The class of 2006 is the first to be required to pass both the English and math sections of the California High School Exit Exam in order to graduate.

The settlement would allow special education students to apply for a one-year exemption from the graduation requirement.

Students requesting the exemption will have to show they have taken the test at least twice since their sophomore year and will have to try again during their senior year.

They´ll still have to meet all other graduation requirements. The state Legislature and the governor will have to approve the one-year exemption before it can take effect.

Statistics released by the state earlier this month showed that about half of special education students failed the math portion of the test. About 45 percent have yet to pass the English portion.