Lucas: AG opinion no applicability to OSD

Dr. Mike Lucas, Oconee Superintendent of Education, said today a legal opinion sent last week for the state Department of Education means no changes for the Oconee School District—when it comes to high school diplomas. Dr. Mick Zais, state superintendent, requested of the Attorney’s General office an opinion on whether school districts may issue their own high school diplomas to students who don’t meet the requirements for a diploma under state law. And the Attorney’s General opinion holds that districts may only issue the uniform high school diploma established by state law to students who graduate and meet the requirements. “A diploma is a uniform document issued by the district for students fulfilling state requirements, and we’ve never sought to deviate in Oconee County,” Lucas told 96.3/WGOG NEWS. According to Harrison Brant, assistant attorney general, Dr. Zais raised concern that issuing district-level achievements can cause confusion in business and industry and for higher education. Special education students who can’t complete diploma requirements receive certificates of attendance.