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Florida students will have to earn higher grades and take tougher courses to graduate if lawmakers adopt the proposals of a state task force created to examine what high school students need to do to prepare for college and the workforce.

Under the plan, which the legislature could take up when it convenes this week, next fall's freshmen would have to earn a 1.6 G.P.A., up from a 1.5, to receive a diploma. Freshmen entering in 1995 would need a 1.8 G.P.A.; the class of 2000 would need a 2.0 G.P.A.

Students also would have to take higher-level courses in core subject areas.

"Right now, you can graduate with basic science, basic math, and basic English,'' said Randy Lewis, a spokesman for the state education department.

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