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A07163
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
564
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY BOBACK, KORTZ, BIZZARRO, McNEILL, BARRAR, SAINATO,
KAUFFMAN, STAATS, O'BRIEN, MILLARD, MACKENZIE, MURT, WATSON,
NEILSON, READSHAW, WARD, COX, STURLA, GABLER, FREEMAN,
SOLOMON, RADER, PYLE, SACCONE, D. COSTA, TOOHIL, ROE, HAHN,
PICKETT, ELLIS, DeLISSIO, LONGIETTI, HARKINS, FABRIZIO,
YOUNGBLOOD, CUTLER, PASHINSKI, RYAN, DIAMOND, RAVENSTAHL,
ENGLISH, ROTHMAN, RAPP, ROEBUCK, EVERETT, BURNS, DALEY, HELM,
V. BROWN, JAMES, DONATUCCI, BENNINGHOFF, GOODMAN, DUSH,
SCHLEGEL CULVER, STEPHENS, METCALFE, KIM, C. QUINN AND
R. BROWN, FEBRUARY 21, 2017
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, APRIL 9, 2018
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in high schools, providing for civics
test graduation requirement ASSESSMENT OF CIVIC KNOWLEDGE.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a
section to read:
Section 1613.1. Civics Test Graduation Requirement--(a)
Notwithstanding 22 Pa. Code §4.24 (relating to high school
graduation requirements), beginning in the 2020-2021 school year
and in each school year thereafter, each school entity shall
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require a student, as a condition of high school graduation, to
correctly answer at least sixty percent (60%) of the questions
on a test that is identical to the one hundred (100) question
civics test used by the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services.
(b) Each school entity may administer the test required
under subsection (a) in any grade from grades seven through
twelve, and shall:
(1) Determine the manner in which the test shall be
administered.
(2) Offer students the opportunity to take the test at least
three times each year as follows:
(i) Once in the fall.
(ii) Once in the spring
(iii) Once in the summer.
(3) Indicate that a student has satisfied the requirements
of this section in a student's academic record.
(c) Each student shall be permitted to take the test
required under subsection (a) as many times as necessary in
order to meet the requirements of this section.
(d) A student with an individualized education program shall
not be required to comply with the requirements of this section
if the provisions of the student's individualized education
program indicate otherwise.
(e) The chief school administrator of a school entity may
waive the requirements of this section for students in grade
twelve on a case by case basis for good cause in extenuating
circumstances. Waivers granted under this subsection shall not
exceed ten percent (10%) of the students in the graduating class
of the school entity.
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(f) The department shall post on its publicly accessible
Internet website links to the one hundred (100) question civics
test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services and any related resources offered by the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services. The department shall also
post on its publicly accessible Internet website any additional
materials that the department deems useful to school entities in
complying with the requirement in this section.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require
school entities to collect and report new data to the
department.
(h) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection, unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"School entity" shall mean each school district, area
vocational-technical school, intermediate unit, charter school,
cyber charter school, regional charter school, or nonpublic
school from which a student may graduate high school.
"Department" shall mean the Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Individualized education program" shall mean an
individualized education program established under 22 Pa. Code
Ch. 14 (relating to special education services and programs).
SECTION 1605.1. ASSESSMENT OF CIVIC KNOWLEDGE.--(A)
BEGINNING WITH THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR, EACH SCHOOL ENTITY:
(1) SHALL ADMINISTER AT LEAST ONCE TO STUDENTS DURING GRADES
SEVEN THROUGH TWELVE A LOCALLY DEVELOPED ASSESSMENT OF UNITED
STATES HISTORY, GOVERNMENT AND CIVICS THAT INCLUDES THE NATURE,
PURPOSE, PRINCIPLES AND STRUCTURE OF UNITED STATES
CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY, THE PRINCIPLES, OPERATIONS AND
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DOCUMENTS OF UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE RIGHTS AND
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENSHIP. EACH SCHOOL ENTITY SHALL
DETERMINE THE FORM OF THE ASSESSMENT AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THE
ASSESSMENT SHALL BE ADMINISTERED AND MAY ADMINISTER THE
ASSESSMENT AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE COURSE OF STUDY REQUIRED
UNDER SECTION 1605(A) OR AT THE CONCLUSION OF ANOTHER RELATED
COURSE OR INSTRUCTIONAL UNIT. A SCHOOL ENTITY MAY USE THE UNITED
STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES TEST TO SATISFY THE
REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
(2) SHALL ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION , developed by
the department, TO STUDENTS WHO ATTAIN A PASSING GRADE achieve a
perfect score ON THE ASSESSMENT ADMINISTERED UNDER PARAGRAPH
(1).
(B) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL:
(1) WITHIN TWELVE (12) MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
SECTION, POST ON ITS PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE INTERNET WEBSITE LINKS
TO THE UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES TEST
AND ANY RELATED RESOURCES OFFERED BY THE UNITED STATES
CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ALSO
POST ON ITS PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE INTERNET WEBSITE ANY ADDITIONAL
MATERIALS THAT THE DEPARTMENT DEEMS USEFUL TO SCHOOL ENTITIES IN
COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS IN THIS SECTION.
(2) CONDUCT AN ELECTRONIC SURVEY OF EACH SCHOOL ENTITY AT
THE CONCLUSION OF THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR AND AT THE
CONCLUSION OF EVERY SECOND SCHOOL YEAR THEREAFTER REQUESTING
INFORMATION CONCERNING COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS
SECTION. EACH SCHOOL ENTITY SHALL RESPOND TO THE SURVEY NO LATER
THAN NOVEMBER 30 FOLLOWING THE SCHOOL YEAR FOR WHICH THE SURVEY
IS CONDUCTED. THE SURVEY SHALL ONLY REQUEST THE FOLLOWING
INFORMATION FOR THE IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING SCHOOL YEAR:
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(I) THE FORMAT type OF THE ASSESSMENT ADMINISTERED AS
REQUIRED UNDER SUBSECTION (A)(1).
(II) THE TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO TOOK THE ASSESSMENT.
(III) THE TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO ATTAINED A PASSING
GRADE ON THE ASSESSMENT.
(IV) THE GRADE LEVEL OR LEVELS IN WHICH THE ASSESSMENT WAS
ADMINISTERED.
(V) THE COURSE OR COURSES IN WHICH THE ASSESSMENT WAS
ADMINISTERED.
(3) BY JANUARY 1 OF THE YEAR FOLLOWING THE SCHOOL YEAR FOR
WHICH THE SURVEY IS CONDUCTED, MAKE THE DATA COLLECTED FROM THE
SURVEYS CONDUCTED UNDER PARAGRAPH (2) AVAILABLE ON ITS PUBLICLY
ACCESSIBLE INTERNET WEBSITE.
(4) Develop a certificate of recognition for a student who
achieves a perfect score on the assessment under subsection (a)
(1) and make the c ertificate available on the department's
publicly accessible Internet website for use by a school entity.
(C) A STUDENT WITH AN INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM SHALL
NOT BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE ASSESSMENT ADMINISTERED UNDER
SUBSECTION (A)(1) IF THE PROVISIONS OF THE STUDENT'S
INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM INDICATE OTHERWISE.
(D) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING WORDS AND PHRASES
SHALL HAVE THE MEANINGS GIVEN TO THEM IN THIS SUBSECTION UNLESS
THE CONTEXT CLEARLY INDICATES OTHERWISE:
"DEPARTMENT" SHALL MEAN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OF THE
COMMONWEALTH.
"INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM" SHALL MEAN A WRITTEN
STATEMENT FOR EACH CHILD WITH A DISABILITY THAT IS DEVELOPED,
REVIEWED OR REVISED IN A MEETING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (PUBLIC LAW 91-230,
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20 U.S.C. § 1400 ET SEQ.) AND 22 PA. CODE CH. 14 (RELATING TO
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES AND PROGRAMS).
"SCHOOL ENTITY" SHALL MEAN A SCHOOL DISTRICT, AREA
VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL SCHOOL, INTERMEDIATE UNIT, CHARTER SCHOOL,
CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL OR REGIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL.
"UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES TEST"
SHALL MEAN THE ONE HUNDRED (100) QUESTION CIVICS TEST USED BY
THE UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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