BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A redesign of Louisiana's career-track diploma has received overwhelming backing from members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Superintendent of Education John White's proposal centers on high school students getting job skills certifications to earn their diploma if they don't intend to go to a four-year university. He says it will better prepare students for available jobs.

A BESE committee agreed to the plans without objection Thursday. Ten of the board's 11 members were present for the vote, in advance of final passage Friday.

All public school districts will have to make the changes by the 2016-17 school year.

Business organizations supported the overhaul, called "Jump Start." Parents of special education students opposed it, saying the changes will make it harder for their children to get a diploma.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.