ANNAPOLIS, Md. — In a 5-4 vote, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education decided to abolish how the county's school valedictorians and salutatorians are chosen.
Previously those honors were awarded to those students with the highest grade point average.
With Wednesday night's vote, students who earn Summa Cum Laude honors, or a weighted GPA of 4.3 or above after seven high school semesters, are eligible to apply for class valedictorian or salutatorian.
Under the new policy, students will be evaluated on character, leadership, scholarship, and service.
Winners will be selected through a school-based process to be determined by the Superintendent of Schools.
The new system will begin with students entering ninth grade during the 2021-2022 school year.
Board members also voted during the meeting to approve a $1.27 billion FY 2020 operating budget that aims to add 223 teacher positions and increase employee pay.