Graduation test requirement bill stalls in House
Decision on a bill implementing the imposition of passing a citizenship exam in order for students only enrolled in public and private schools to graduate was deferred to another day.
House Bill 1066, which requires public and private school students to pass a citizenship test before graduating from high school, was debated before the full House of Representatives on Tuesday (2/12), but upon the introduction of an amendment, was deferred after the invocation of a legislative rule that requires action on a bill be delayed one legislative day after the amendment is introduced.
Rep. Thomas Brunner moved for Joint Rule 5-17 to be invoked after Rep. Caleb Finck moved an amendment that would include students receiving homeschool instruction to be included in the graduation testing requirement. A bill that called for the repeal of an assessment requirement for homeschool students was previously defeated.
Students receiving homeschool instruction were included in the original version of the bill.
“I don’t think this is asking too much,” Rep. Finck shared with his fellow Representatives.
Rep. Fred Deutsch carried the bill on the floor for the House Education committee, which passed it on an 11-3 vote.
“So, it’s not my bill,” Rep. Deutsch told his fellow Representatives, but requested they consider “it as a place to start.”
“The test is not challenging.”
The current version of the bill would require only public and private school students to answer 7 of 10 questions, as annually selected by the Secretary of Education, correctly from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services exam.
ASBSD is opposed to the bill based on the Association’s legislative resolution B1. Students Receiving Alternative Instruction (Home School Instruction), that states: ASBSD supports state guidelines for evaluating the academic progress of students receiving alternative instruction, the establishment of effective state regulations to ensure exempted students receive a high-quality education and the right of the local public-school board to decide criteria for allowing alternative instruction students to participate in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.
House Bill 1066 now awaits action on the House floor as early as Thursday, February 14.
For updates on the bill and other legislation throughout session, check the ASBSD Blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page and Bill Tracker.
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