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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 8, 2015 02:32 PM
From: Representative James R. Roebuck, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Promoting Access to Advanced Placement Courses
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation intended to promote high school student access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses in our public schools by providing school districts with the opportunity to apply for funds that will train a teacher in an Advanced Placement course in one of the four core academic areas of Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies where there currently are none offered by the school district. Pennsylvania has fewer students taking AP courses and exams than the national average and almost all of its surrounding states.

Presently a major obstacle for a school district to provide Advanced Placement courses is the cost of training teachers to be qualified to teach these AP courses. This legislation will provide funding to train teachers to teach Advanced Placement courses in those high schools that do not have AP courses in the four core academic areas; and for those high schools where a teacher retirement will result in no longer having a teacher in one of these AP courses.

To be eligible for funding, a school district has to commit to providing AP courses in the subject area that the teacher is trained in for at least three years. The training of these teachers will also count toward their professional development requirements.

The importance and benefits of Advanced Placement Courses cannot be underestimated. Pennsylvania recognizes its importance in the new School Performance Profiles which include AP participation and performance in high school as an indicator of academic achievement that determines a high school’s academic performance score. The use of AP courses in our high schools increases the academic rigor in our schools for our students while improving the quality of instruction by those teachers who will be teaching both regular and Advanced Placement courses.

Finally, providing high school students with the opportunity to take rigorous academic courses that can lead to the awarding of college academic credits based on their scores on Advanced Placement tests will save these students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition costs.

Last session, this was HB2075. Previous co-sponsors included Bishop, Brownlee, Caltagirone, Carroll, Cohen, D. Costa, DeLuca, Frankel, Gibbons, Kinsey, Kotik, Longietti, McCarter, McNeill, D. Miller, Murt, O’Brien, O’Neill, Samuelson, Schlossberg, Truitt, and Youngblood.

If you have any questions, please contact my office at 717-787-7044.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Introduced as HB1055