Was previously approved at 26

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Incoming freshmen students at Alice High School will need more core subject courses to graduate in 2011 because of added state requirements.

Other changes already in place for students in the new "4X4" requirements sent down by the state include that freshmen students will have four years of math and science courses during high school, which coincides with the four years of English and social studies required by the state.

Also, administrators said legislation is currently in development, which if approved, would require students to have 26 credits to attend any Texas public university.

At a recent meeting, school board members agreed with the state and decided that freshmen will be required to take classes such as math and science and see increases in the number of credits required to graduate.

AISD Board members previously approved an increase in the number of credits required for the three graduation plans of distinguished, recommended and minimum. All three plans were increased to 26 credits.

The item was once again placed on the agenda last Tuesday and board members debated about changing the minimum plan and discussed how the change could affect students.

Some board members felt the minimum plan should stay on par with the other two plans, and were against a proposed change to decrease it to 22 credits.

Board member Lupe Martinez offered the idea of splitting the difference at 24 credits, thereby allowing the students an alternative plan, but still keeping the expectations higher than before.

The vote on Tuesday was 4-2 in favor of the minimum plan being decreased from 26 credits to 24 credits, with Board President R. David Guerrero and Yolanda Bueno voting against the item. Board members Roger Saenz and Ciro Zamora felt the minimum plan gave students who failed certain courses an opportunity to still work hard enough to graduate under an existing plan.

"Even if we're talking of a small number, five or six students, who won't be able to graduate due to the increased number of credits," Zamora said. "I think it's worth it to have that minimum plan there, just in case."