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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 3, 2019 10:50 AM
From: Representative John A. Lawrence
To: All House members
Subject: Cosponsor Memo - Parent Opt-Out for the Keystone Exams (Former HB85)
Dear Colleagues –
In the near future, I will introduce legislation allowing public school entities to provide for a parent/guardian opt-out of the Keystone Exams for philosophical reasons. This legislation passed the House 154-39 last session, but did not see action in the Senate.
Currently, according to regulation, parents may opt their children out of taking the Keystone Exams only for religious reasons. This proposal directs the governing bodies of public schools (i.e. school boards) to determine if it will be the policy of that school entity to allow parents to opt their children out of taking the Keystone Exams for philosophical reasons in addition to religious reasons. Students opt-ed out from Keystone Exams under this provision will not be penalized, including withholding a high school diploma.
The governing body of the school entity will need to take action on this question within 180 days of the effective date of this legislation. If no action is taken, a philosophical opt-out provision will be implemented for that school entity.
As you are likely aware, the Keystone Exams are a series of mandated standardized tests administered to high school students that have generated significant conversation in recent years.
I would appreciate your support of this proposal.

Introduced as HB1446