Imagine being forced to skip your senior year of high school. Or having the option.
If you live in Utah, that could become a reality. In an effort to bridge a $700 million budget shortfall, Republican state Sen. Chris Buttars has put forth a plan to eliminate 12th grade in high school, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Facing a wealth of criticism from parents, teachers and students alike, Buttars defended a scaled down version of the idea wherein students simply had the option to exit before their final year, claiming the proposal could save the state about $60 million.
18-year-old J.D. Williams, student body president of Utah's West Jordan High School, wasn't pleased with the plan. "I'm against it," he told the Times. "My parents are against it. All the teachers at the school are against it. I need this year."
Williams didn't make much of the underlying philosophy behind the plan -- that high school students tend to fritter away by their final year. "If you're the type of kid who will slack off, you'd find a way to do that in sophomore or junior year anyway."
The liberal Web site Firedoglake's Jim Moss jested that this proposal means Utah has joined the "race to be the most whacked-out state" in the nation. "Something is seriously wrong when it’s crunch-time for the budget, and the first thing put on the chopping block is education – an entire year of a child’s education," he said.
The conservative Free Republic seized on the opportunity to promote a core right-wing plank on education. "Time For Vouchers,Vouchers, Vouchers!" read its headline.
"Honestly I really didn't learn much in 12th grade other than music theory and how to have sex without getting caught by parents," joked one commenter on Reddit.
"Drug war not negotiable, war on terror not negotioable, a pillar of modern civilized society? Too expensive," said another.