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MS House votes: no more high school exit exams

This is a photo taken by Bob Sullender. You need express written permission to use this photo which is copyrighted by TeleSouth Communications, Inc.

The Mississippi House voted earlier this week to not require students to pass exit exams to graduate from high school.

The vote was on an amendment, offered by Rep. Tom Miles, to the bill funding the Department of Education and the local school districts.

Representative Robert Foster motioned to table the amendment saying that the legislators needed more time to review the amendment before there was a vote. Representative Steve Holland took the floor and said that no more time was needed.

“The gentleman’s amendment is totally germane, but I’m going to tell you the truth about it,” said Representative Steve Holland. “We had one day to look at changing the entire education formula in this state. So don’t come at me that you haven’t had time to think about it. I’m tired of hearing it. I’m ready for some honesty and truth in this body.”

While various other bills were filed this session to eliminate exit exams in high school or to replace the exams with a requirement seniors must make a certain score on the ACT to graduate. Those bills were killed in committee. However, on Tuesday the House voted through the amendment to keep the issue alive during the 2018 session.

After Holland’s speech, Foster’s motion was defeated on a voice vote. Under the amendment, the exams could be administered to adhere to federal law, but they could not be used to prevent graduation if the student meets other requirements.


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