Recently in Utah, state Senator Chris Buttars (R-West Jordan) proposed a way to save his state up to $102 million dollars — make the 12th grade optional. With a budget deficit of $700 million, Utah lawmakers must be scratching their heads over whether or not to embrace untraditional means to alleviate their budgetary distress — especially when school districts in places like Kansas City, Missouri, are being forced to useto stay afloat financially.
Senator Buttars, who has since backtracked a bit on the proposal, believes that a lot of seniors slack off in their final year of high school and just “play around.” This ends up costing school districts money that perhaps may be allotted to extracurricular activities which some may deem unnecessary. So he favors a system of “accelerated graduation” that would get some students out of the system sooner. Opponents of the proposal argue that senior year is still necessary because it helps to mature the students, providing another year to excel academically, athletically, and creatively.