Legislation would create new kinds of high school diplomas in NC

Legislation would create new kinds of high school diplomas in NC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Next week, North Carolina lawmakers could review legislation to create new kinds of high school diplomas and course plans for next school year.

The move is designed so North Carolina high school graduates would get a diploma that's stamped either career-ready, college-ready or both.

Gov. Pat McCrory supports the legislation, which creates courses that emphasize vocational or career paths that don't require four-year college degrees.

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The state House approved the bill that would take effect in two years, but it doesn't get the stamp of approval from parent James Bennett.

“Government dropping in and tell us what we can and can't do,” Bennett said.

He doesn't think it will benefit his daughter when she gets to high school. He said forcing high school students to choose between classes focused on vocational training or preparation for a four-year college is a waste of time.

“You may be ready to do one thing when you are 18, but three or four years later, you are ready to do something different,” Bennett said.

“It seems like it's unnecessary,” Anthony Southgate said. “It's making it complicated and harder for people to get a diploma."

The branch manager at Employment Staffing in Gastonia sees it differently.

“Overall I think it's a good idea,” Steve Hudson said.

He said every week, they review up to 125 resumes. High school graduates with no experience are some of the hardest to place.

“No place in the workplace. They don't have any idea what they can do, let alone the client that we are trying to place them with,” Hudson said.

He said a career-ready diploma will show they can work and they are trainable.

If the bill becomes law, then licensing requirements will have to change so the state can hire teachers to provide more career training.