By Associated Press - Wednesday, July 1, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana Department of Education has unveiled a plan that would allow students with significant disabilities a pathway to a high school diploma.

The New Orleans Advocate ( ) reports the proposal for the plan revealed Tuesday is in the form of a waiver request submitted by the state to federal officials.

If approved, it would offer some students ways to earn a diploma rather than leaving high school without a credential or only a “skills certificate.”

The change would apply to students with the most severe cognitive disabilities. Officials say about 3,000 such students attended public high schools in Louisiana during the 2014-15 school year.

The proposal would set up a series of requirements for students to qualify for a diploma, one of which includes earning 23 course credits.

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