In Chicago, Mayor Emanuel has implemented a new graduation requirement for CPS high school student of the classes of 2020 and on. The new requirement is that in order to graduate, students must have a college acceptance, trade school acceptance, job acceptance/offer, acceptance for a gap-year program, or military enlistment.
Mayor Emanuel implemented this because he wants students to have a plan after high school. According to CNN, CPS parents such as the Chicago Republican Party Chairman, Chris Cleveland, should focus on reducing the dropout rate, instead of focusing on what happens in the future.
According to the article written on CNN by Ray Sanchez, the district and city officials are trying to raise 1 million dollars to fill the needed staff positions in each school. That’s why they questioned how schools will get the funding for the extra resources and staff that schools will need to ensure that the graduates secure these things before graduation. To see more information about the most recent budget overview of CPS, click here.
Some parents and students also believe it is unfair to have this requirement because regardless of having a plan or not, if you’re eligible to graduate, you’ve earned the right to a diploma and should be given one. Now, the requirement will be waived for students with “extenuating circumstances”, but the better part of the CPS population including parents and students are still skeptical.
Parents and students also feel that while it is widely inclusive, it is not all inclusive, and they also feel it is pointless to have the requirement if you’re still giving them a choice of whether to go to college or a job. They raised the question of how do all 17/18 year old students know what they want to do with the rest of their life upon graduating high school? Also, the graduation rates and on-track percentages have been steadily increasing with each school year. the requirement is not really needed. Government officials are also questioning if the new requirement is legal. With all the complications of the requirement, one cannot know whether it will hold or not, The requirement should be extended to all possible plans after high school, or taken away completely.