District of Columbia

DC Mayor Vetoes Diploma Bill for Chronically Absent Students

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued her first-ever veto, rejecting legislation that would allow high school seniors absent for more than six weeks of class to graduate.

The Washington Post quotes Bowser as saying Wednesday that the bill undermines the city's efforts to promote attendance.

The D.C. Council passed the legislation 12-1 in June, around the same time the school system started enforcing long-ignored attendance policies following a graduation scandal at Ballou High School in 2017.

Every senior at the high school had graduated and was accepted to college last spring, but an investigation by WAMU and NPR found half of the graduating class was marked absent for more than three months during the school year.

Lawmakers had said then that it was unfair to change the rules during the school year and effectively punish students.

The measure only applied to students who satisfied all other graduation requirements. It also would've delayed the attendance policy's enforcement until this upcoming academic school year.

Bowser is running for re-election and won the race's Democratic nomination last month.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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