Former students can petition board for their diplomas

July 2, 2014

UNION COUNTY — Any former student of the Union County School District within the past quarter century who did not get their high school diploma solely because they did not pass the exit exam can now petition the school district to get their diploma.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Cindy Langley, director of secondary education for the Union County School District, stated that Gov. Nikki R. Haley’s signing of Act 155 into law on April 14, 2014, eliminated passage of the exit exam as a requirement for high school graduation beginning with the Class of 2015. Passage of an exit exam (BSAP or HSAP) had been a requirement for graduation since 1990, and the new law eliminating that requirement is retroactive to the graduating class of 1990.

Langley stated that because of this a person who is no longer enrolled in a public school and who previously failed to receive a high school diploma or was denied graduation solely for failing to meet the exit exam requirements may petition the local school board to determine the student’s eligibility to receive a high school diploma. Persons eligible to receive a South Carolina high school diploma under these provisions must have met all other graduation requirements at the time of his or her high school attendance. The local school board will transmit diploma requests to the South Carolina Department of Education in accordance with Department procedures. Petitions must be submitted to the local school board by December 31, 2015.

Petitions for those individuals who would have graduated from a high school in Union County are available on the Union County Schools’ website www.union.k12.sc.us or they may be picked up at the Union County Schools District Office, 130 West Main Street. All eligible candidates’ names must be verified and submitted by the local school board. The South Carolina Department of Education will not accept requests directly from a diploma candidate. For additional information, please contact Cindy Langley at Union County Schools (clangley@union.k12.sc.us).

The South Carolina Department of Education will begin processing requests from local school boards as soon as possible. Since this law applies to the graduating class of 2015, students in the graduating class of 2014 who are denied graduation solely for failing to meet the exit exam requirement may petition their local school board for a high school diploma as soon as they are no longer enrolled in public school, as outlined in the law.