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Kentucky bill would impose HS graduation requirement: Pass citizenship test

Kentucky State Senator Jared Carpenter has submitted a bill which would require the state’s students to pass a citizenship exam before graduating high school — the test similar to that taken by those looking to become naturalized citizens.

Students “would be given the opportunity to retake the test ‘as often as needed in order to pass,’ but would need to pass with a score of at least 60 percent,” WDRB.com reports.

Carpenter had filed a similar bill last year, but it went nowhere in the Democratic-majority House of Representatives.

If the bill passes, it would take effect the 2018-2019 school year.

Text of the bill:

(1) Beginning on July 1, 2018, to graduate from a Kentucky public high school with a regular diploma, a student shall pass a civics test composed of one hundred (100) questions drawn from those that are set forth within the civics test administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to persons seeking to become naturalized citizens.

(2) A local board of education shall prepare or approve a test composed of the questions described in subsection (1) of this section and shall disseminate the test to all public high schools of the district. The test shall be administered by the public high schools in each district.

(3) A public high school shall provide each student with the opportunity to take the test as many times as necessary for the student to pass the test. A student shall not receive a regular high school diploma until the student passes the test.

(4) A student passes the test if at least sixty percent (60%) of the questions are answered correctly.

(5) Provisions of this section shall be subject to the requirements and accommodations of a student’s individualized education program as defined in KRS 158.281 or a Section 504 Plan as defined in KRS 156.02

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