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The North Carolina Board of Education has voted to discontinue the long-standing practice of awarding academic credits to vocational-education students for their work in school-related jobs.

Students had been able to earn course credit for such jobs as driving a school bus or working as a teacher's aide. But under new guidelines adopted by the board this month, credit can be given only for courses that consist of at least 150 instructional hours in a classroom, meet state and local content requirements, and are directed by a teacher.

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