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Algebra 2 no longer mandatory to graduate in Texas; Local districts can choose to keep it

By: Gina Benitez
EL PASO, Texas -- After months of talks, the new high school graduation requirements for students in Texas were finalized Friday.

The revamping of the system is an effort to give kids who don't necessarily want to go to college other options.

The 4x4 graduation plan is now gone, which once required students to have four years of math, science, English and social studies. Now, five pathways that all focus on different specialties will be implemented.

What probably sparked the most debate was the nixing of the Algebra 2 requirement to graduate.

Every member of the state board of education except one voted in favor of the new requirements.

District 1 representative Martha Dominguez of El Paso was the only one who voted against them.

Dominguez said she's only opposed to the part of the bill removing the Algebra 2 requirement.

"I don't believe that we will have a high expectation of all students now. So to me, that's not right. I think we should have a high expectation of all students," Dominguez said.

Though it's not a state mandate, districts can still choose to keep Algebra 2 as a graduation requirement.

"We came together collectively and said, 'You know what? We're going to take a stand. And we're going to require Algebra 2 for high school, regardless of what the state does,' said Pedro Galaviz, Canutillo ISD superintendent.

Galaviz said it is important to keep students competitive so theyre able to work in the global market, and thats something west El Paso resident Esther Stephens agrees with.

"Theyre going to have to compete in the market with the rest of the state and the other states in the country for jobs," Stephens said.

KFOX 14 is told every district in the Borderland signed a resolution to keep Algebra 2 a graduation requirement.



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