SENATE BILL

> No. 723

> Session of 2017

> INTRODUCED BY RAFFERTY, DINNIMAN, LANGERHOLC, MARTIN, FOLMER, AUMENT,

> SCARNATI, FONTANA, ARGALL, HUTCHINSON, WAGNER, McGARRIGLE, REGAN,

> ALLOWAY, McILHINNEY, SABATINA, SCAVELLO, WHITE, BLAKE, VULAKOVICH,

> BARTOLOTTA, EICHELBERGER AND RESCHENTHALER, MAY 19, 2017

 

> REFERRED TO EDUCATION, MAY 19, 2017

>> AN ACT

> 1     Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An

> 2           act relating to the public school system, including certain

> 3           provisions applicable as well to private and parochial

> 4             schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the

> 5             laws relating thereto," in high schools, providing for civics

> 6           test graduation requirement.

> 7           The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

> 8     hereby enacts as follows:

> 9           Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known

> 0   as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a

> 1   section to read:

> 2         Section 1613.1. Civics Test Graduation Requirement.--(a)

> 3   Notwithstanding 22 Pa. Code § 4.24 (relating to high school

> 4   graduation requirements), beginning in the 2020-2021 school year

> 5   and in each school year thereafter, each school entity shall

> 6   require a student, as a condition of high school graduation, to

> 7   correctly answer at least sixty percent (60%) of the questions

> 8   on a test that is identical to the one hundred (100) question

>

>

> 1   civics test used by the United States Citizenship and

> 2   Immigration Services.

> 3         (b) Each school entity may administer the test required

> 4   under subsection (a) in any grade from grades seven through

> 5   twelve, and shall:

> 6         (1) Determine the manner in which the test shall be

> 7   administered.

> 8         (2) Offer students the opportunity to take the test at least

> 9   three times each year as follows:

> 0         (i) Once in the fall.

> 1         (ii) Once in the spring.

> 2         (iii) Once in the summer.

> 3         (3) Indicate that a student has satisfied the requirements

> 4   of this section in a student's academic record.

> 5         (c) Each student shall be permitted to take the test

> 6   required under subsection (a) as many times as necessary in

> 7   order to meet the requirements of this section.

> 8         (d) A student with an individualized education program shall

> 9   not be required to comply with the requirements of this section

> 0   if the provisions of the student's individualized education

> 1   program indicate otherwise.

> 2         (e) The chief school administrator of a school entity may

> 3   waive the requirements of this section for students in grade

> 4   twelve on a case by case basis for good cause in extenuating

> 5   circumstances. Waivers granted under this subsection shall not

> 6   exceed ten percent (10%) of the students in the graduating class

> 7   of the school entity.

> 8         (f) The department shall post on its publicly accessible

> 9   Internet website links to the one hundred (100) question civics

> 0 test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration

>

> 0170SB0723PN0857 - 2 -

> 1   Services and any related resources offered by the United States

> 2   Citizenship and Immigration Services. The department shall also

> 3   post on its publicly accessible Internet website any additional

> 4   materials that the department deems useful to school entities in

> 5   complying with the requirement in this section.

> 6         (g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require

> 7   school entities to collect and report new data to the

> 8   department.

> 9         (h) As used in this section, the following words and phrases

> 0   shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection, unless

> 1   the context clearly indicates otherwise:

> 2         "Department" shall mean the Department of Education of the

> 3   Commonwealth.

> 4         "Individualized education program" shall mean an

> 5   individualized education program established under 22 Pa. Code

> 6   Ch. 14 (relating to special education services and programs).

> 7         "School entity" shall mean each school district, area

> 8   vocational-technical school, intermediate unit, charter school,

> 9   cyber charter school, regional charter school, or nonpublic

> 0   school from which a student may graduate high school.

> 1         Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.