State board tables statewide policy on graduation

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It may have been the united voice of Nevada's 17 school districts that swayed the Nevada Board of Education's decision Saturday; or it was the lone voice of a 24-year-old mom from Carson City.

Crystal Romesburg attended the hearing before the board to voice her concerns about a proposed statewide policy that, if it had passed, would force all schools in the state to allow students who have not passed the proficiency exam to participate in graduation activities.

Under the proposed regulation, which was tabled during Saturday's meeting of the Nevada Board of Education in Las Vegas, students would not receive a diploma but would be allowed to march in commencement exercises.

"I feel that all kids should meet every requirement to graduate," she said. "I

had to wait another year. To me, after I completed it all, I felt that it was a great accomplishment.

"Kids should really try their hardest to meet all the requirements. Graduation is a privilege you earn and I feel strongly about that. My son (Christian Cooper) is 5 and I want to send him that message too -- that he needs to work really hard.

Romesburg, who should have graduated from Carson High School in 1996, walked with the class of 1997.

"I went to two years of college when he was a baby," she said. "The year I had to wait gave me a lot of incentive. It pushed me to go further."

Carson City School Board President Bob Crowell said the state board "did the right thing. They tabled it."

The meeting in Las Vegas was attended in Carson City by video conference between the southern meeting room and the meeting room in the state education building.

"We brought tremendous support to the table," Crowell said. "The Carson City Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada Manufacturers Association, all 17 county school districts and all 17 school board associations, spoke against the policy. Clark, Lyon and Washoe counties testified the state school board should not adopt the policy.

Romesburg said students today should work hard to participate in graduation day.

"It is definitely a privilege," she said. "I feel like I've really done a lot -- set a good example for my son."


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