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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 7, 2020 10:56 AM
From: Representative James R. Roebuck, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Promoting Access to Advanced Placement Courses
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. Yet presently 32% of high schools in Pennsylvania do not offer any AP courses in the five core academic areas. 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. 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 five core academic areas of Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Computer Science where there currently are none offered by the school district. 

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 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. The savings of over $26 million in college costs for families of students scoring a 3 or more on AP exams will far exceed the $2 million cost of training the 1,800 teachers needed to teach one AP course in each of the 5 core areas at every high school in Pennsylvania. Those savings to our families and students will increase every year thereafter.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2720