The measure signed by Gov. Inslee Tuesday afternoon is actually a more 'permanent' extension of a waiver put in place when schools were shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19.

At that time, a measure was put in place allowing students who were clearly on pace to graduate on time, to waive up to 2 elective credits; provided there was evidence the shutdown negatively affected their academic progress. They also had to be clearly on the way to successful graduation.

Gov. Inslee signed the measure, which was already passed by the State Senate and House in February by wide margins. School Districts can apply to the Education Board to get temporary waivers for students for testing or other requirements, if the pandemic caused a significant disruption to student's schooling.

It is likely this will be far more widely used on the West side of the state, where far fewer high school students are back in class. We reported this week new data showing Washington state ranks 47th in the country in students returning to in person (hybrid) in class education.

The K-12 return rate is only 19.2 percent. Eastern Washington Districts are far ahead of those on the West side. Data from maps in the study show significantly higher return rates for our side of the mountains.

In a nutshell, students could have two elective credits waived this year if all other standards are met for graduation.