House File 175 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 175 BY HEARTSILL , SHEETS , WATTS , KAUFMANN , KOESTER , BAUDLER , DOLECHECK , MOMMSEN , GASSMAN , BYRNES , BRANHAGEN , FISHER , KOOIKER , HOLT , and HANUSA A BILL FOR An Act relating to administration of a civics examination 1 by school districts and accredited nonpublic schools 2 as a condition of high school graduation and including 3 applicability provisions. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 1503YH (6) 86 kh/sc
H.F. 175 Section 1. Section 256.9, Code 2015, is amended by adding 1 the following new subsection: 2 NEW SUBSECTION . 66. Approve alternative civics assessments 3 pursuant to section 280.9A, subsection 1, paragraph “b” . 4 Sec. 2. Section 280.9A, subsection 1, Code 2015, is amended 5 to read as follows: 6 1. The board of directors of each local public school 7 district and the authorities in charge of each nonpublic school 8 shall require that all students in grades nine through twelve 9 successfully complete or pass, as applicable , as a condition of 10 graduation, instruction the following: 11 a. Instruction in American history and the governments of 12 Iowa and the United States, including instruction in voting 13 statutes and procedures, voter registration requirements, 14 the use of paper ballots and voting systems in the election 15 process, and the method of acquiring and casting an absentee 16 ballot. 17 b. A civics examination that shall be the same as, and shall 18 include all questions used in, the latest available civics 19 examination administered by the United States citizenship 20 and immigration services. The proctored examination shall 21 be completed without ancillary materials and only students 22 who score a proficiency of sixty percent or higher shall 23 be considered to have successfully passed the examination. 24 Alternative assessment measures approved by the department of 25 education pursuant to section 256.9, subsection 66, may be 26 administered to children requiring special education as defined 27 in section 256B.2, subsection 1, and to students identified 28 as limited English proficient pursuant to section 280.4. 29 Each student shall be provided with an opportunity to take 30 the civics examination at least one time per school calendar 31 year. A student may take the test at any time after enrolling 32 in grade seven and may repeat the test as often as necessary 33 to demonstrate proficiency. If a student in grade seven or 34 eight passes the civics examination, the student has met the 35 -1- LSB 1503YH (6) 86 kh/sc 1/ 3
H.F. 175 graduation requirement applicable to this paragraph “b” . A 1 fee shall not be imposed or collected in connection with this 2 paragraph “b” . 3 Sec. 3. APPLICABILITY. Section 280.9A, subsection 1, 4 paragraph “b”, as enacted by this Act, applies to any student 5 who will graduate from high school during or after the 6 2016-2017 school year. 7 Sec. 4. STATE MANDATE FUNDING SPECIFIED. In accordance 8 with section 25B.2, subsection 3, the state cost of requiring 9 compliance with any state mandate included in this Act shall 10 be paid by a school district from state school foundation aid 11 received by the school district under section 257.16. This 12 specification of the payment of the state cost shall be deemed 13 to meet all of the state funding-related requirements of 14 section 25B.2, subsection 3, and no additional state funding 15 shall be necessary for the full implementation of this Act 16 by and enforcement of this Act against all affected school 17 districts. 18 EXPLANATION 19 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 20 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 21 This bill requires students enrolled in school districts 22 and accredited nonpublic schools to successfully pass as a 23 condition of graduation a proctored, or supervised, civics 24 examination that is the same as the latest available civics 25 examination administered by the citizenship and immigration 26 services. Students are prohibited from using ancillary 27 materials during the examination and must achieve a score of at 28 least 60 percent to successfully pass the examination. 29 Each student must be given an opportunity to take the test 30 at least once every school year, beginning in grade seven, 31 and each student may take the test, at no cost, as often as 32 necessary to demonstrate proficiency. If a student in grade 33 seven or eight passes the civics examination, the student has 34 met the graduation requirement. 35 -2- LSB 1503YH (6) 86 kh/sc 2/ 3
H.F. 175 The director of the department of education is tasked with 1 approving alternative assessment measures that school districts 2 and accredited nonpublic schools may administer to children 3 requiring special education and to English language learners. 4 The bill applies to students who will graduate from high 5 school during or after the 2016-2017 school year. 6 The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code 7 section 25B.3. The bill requires that the state cost of 8 any state mandate included in the bill be paid by a school 9 district from state school foundation aid received by the 10 school district under Code section 257.16. The specification 11 is deemed to constitute state compliance with any state mandate 12 funding-related requirements of Code section 25B.2. The 13 inclusion of this specification is intended to reinstate the 14 requirement of political subdivisions to comply with any state 15 mandates included in the bill. 16 -3- LSB 1503YH (6) 86 kh/sc 3/ 3