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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 18, 2015 12:10 PM
From: Representative William C. Kortz, II and Rep. Karen Boback
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship of Legislation – Civics Education Graduation Requirement

In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Public School Code of 1949. This legislation would require all high school students, attending public school, or a charter school, or a cyber/charter school, or a private school or a student seeking a general educational development (GED) equivalency, to take and receive a passing grade on the United States Citizenship Test on Civics, produced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The test would consist of 100 questions used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, all high school students would be tested on 100 questions and would be required to obtain a minimum score of 60%. High school students may take the test as many times as necessary for passage, but must pass the test prior to receiving a certificate of High School graduation or a GED equivalency.

Other states that have enacted this legislation include Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana and Wisconsin, and seventeen state legislatures considered such laws in their 2015 sessions.

It is our hope to increase students’ understanding of basic government and thus be better prepared to be engaged citizens in our democracy. The test can be found at www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation to ensure all students are being instilled with ample civic knowledge.

Introduced as HB1858