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CMS School Board Tackles Big Agenda

After a year of rancorous debate, the school board will hold one more public hearing tonight before taking a final vote on proposed changes that may close some of the districts magnet programs. In finalizing that debate, the board will also open a new one on graduation requirements. Vice Chairwoman Molly Griffin says tonight begins formal discussion to lower the number of credits required for a high school diploma from 28 down to 24. "What we hoped to do, by doing this, is to create the opportunity for a very innovative and creative senior year," says Griffin. For example, she says students may opt to graduate in three years, attend community college, do an internship or study abroad. The change would also give struggling students a better chance at graduation, though critics worry it amounts to lowering expectations, rather than improving performance. The CMS Board will hold a public hearing and vote on the proposal next month. Other items on tonight's agenda include a vote to raise the pay for the board and begin taking applications for a new member to replace George Dunlap, who recently left to serve on the County Commission. The meeting starts at the Government Center tonight at 6.