The Idaho State Board of Education approved a waiver of the requirement that students take a college entrance exam in order to graduate from a public high school in Idaho.  The waiver applies to students graduating at the end of the 2020-21 school year, including the summer term.

College entrance exams are normally taken by students during their junior year but the test was cancelled last spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  About 80 percent of high school seniors took the exam this fall.

The action allows local school boards to require the college entrance exam if they choose.

In other business the board reviewed updated figures on the number of families that have applied for federal coronavirus relief funds to assist with their children’s education.

A total of 39,930 applications were filed with 26,307 completed and verified. Of those, 13,592 were submitted by Idahoans with $50,000 or less in income.

Awards are based first on economic need.  Once the first wave of applications are complete, second wave applications (from those making $75,000 or less) will be processed until funding is exhausted. 

The fund totals $50 million.  It would cost nearly $56 million to award grants to all who submitted completed and verified applications.

Eligible families receive $1,500 per student up to $3,500 per family for use to purchase computers, internet connectivity and services to benefit their children’s education.

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