Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Thurston County, issued the following statement after passage of Senate Bill 6145, a bill that will delay the state’s high school biology assessments as a graduation requirement for the next two years:

“With this bill, today is a life changing day for up to 2,000 high school seniors here in the State of Washington. Seniors who have passed every test and graduation requirement, except the mandatory biology assessment, will receive their high school diplomas.

“Some of these students will be the first in their families to graduate. A high school diploma means that these young adults will be able to move forward in their lives. They will no longer be shut out from going on to college, vocational training, or getting a better paying job. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that every time a student drops out or is denied a diploma because of standardized tests, that student will lose about $370,000 in lifetime earnings.

“A high school diploma opens important doors. I am pleased we were able to begin to address this issue that will help thousands of students in our state.”