House File 220 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 220 BY HEARTSILL , SHEETS , HINSON , WHEELER , CARLIN , WATTS , HOLT , GASSMAN , FISHER , MOMMSEN , HANUSA , BAUDLER , and KOESTER A BILL FOR An Act relating to administration of a civics examination 1 students must pass as a condition of high school graduation 2 and for issuance of a high school equivalency diploma and 3 including applicability provisions. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 1300YH (6) 87 kh/sc
H.F. 220 Section 1. Section 256.9, Code 2017, is amended by adding 1 the following new subsection: 2 NEW SUBSECTION . 61. Approve alternative assessment 3 measures pursuant to section 280.9A, subsection 1, paragraph 4 “b” . 5 Sec. 2. Section 259A.1, Code 2017, is amended to read as 6 follows: 7 259A.1 Tests. 8 The department of education shall cause to be made available 9 for qualified individuals a high school equivalency diploma. 10 The diploma shall be issued on the basis of satisfactory 11 competence as shown by tests covering all of the following: 12 reading, language arts, literacy, mathematics, science, and 13 social studies , and as shown by successfully passing a civics 14 examination as set forth in section 280.9A . 15 Sec. 3. Section 280.9A, subsection 1, Code 2017, is amended 16 to read as follows: 17 1. The board of directors of each local public school 18 district and the authorities in charge of each nonpublic school 19 shall require that all students in grades nine through twelve 20 successfully complete or pass, as applicable , as a condition of 21 graduation, instruction the following: 22 a. Instruction in American history and the governments of 23 Iowa and the United States, including instruction in voting 24 statutes and procedures, voter registration requirements, 25 the use of paper ballots and voting systems in the election 26 process, and the method of acquiring and casting an absentee 27 ballot. 28 b. A civics examination that shall be the same as, and shall 29 include all questions used in, the latest available civics 30 examination administered by the United States citizenship 31 and immigration services. The proctored examination shall 32 be completed without ancillary materials and only students 33 who score a proficiency of sixty percent or higher shall 34 be considered to have successfully passed the examination. 35 -1- LSB 1300YH (6) 87 kh/sc 1/ 3
H.F. 220 Alternative assessment measures approved by the department of 1 education pursuant to section 256.9, subsection 66, may be 2 administered to children requiring special education as defined 3 in section 256B.2, subsection 1, and to students identified 4 as limited English proficient pursuant to section 280.4. 5 Each student shall be provided with an opportunity to take 6 the civics examination at least one time per school calendar 7 year. A student may take the test at any time after enrolling 8 in grade seven and may repeat the test as often as necessary 9 to demonstrate proficiency. If a student in grade seven or 10 eight passes the civics examination, the student has met the 11 graduation requirement applicable to this paragraph “b” . A 12 fee shall not be imposed or collected in connection with this 13 paragraph “b” . 14 Sec. 4. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to school years 15 beginning on or after July 1, 2018. 16 Sec. 5. STATE MANDATE FUNDING SPECIFIED. In accordance 17 with section 25B.2, subsection 3, the state cost of requiring 18 compliance with any state mandate included in this Act shall 19 be paid by a school district from state school foundation aid 20 received by the school district under section 257.16. This 21 specification of the payment of the state cost shall be deemed 22 to meet all of the state funding-related requirements of 23 section 25B.2, subsection 3, and no additional state funding 24 shall be necessary for the full implementation of this Act 25 by and enforcement of this Act against all affected school 26 districts. 27 EXPLANATION 28 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 29 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 30 This bill requires students enrolled in school districts 31 and accredited nonpublic schools to successfully pass as a 32 condition of graduation a proctored, or supervised, civics 33 examination that is the same as the latest available civics 34 examination administered by the United States citizenship 35 -2- LSB 1300YH (6) 87 kh/sc 2/ 3
H.F. 220 and immigration services. Individuals seeking a high school 1 equivalency diploma must also pass such an examination. 2 Students are prohibited from using ancillary materials during 3 the examination and must achieve a score of at least 60 percent 4 to successfully pass the examination. 5 Each student must be given an opportunity to take the test 6 at least once every school year, beginning in grade seven, 7 and each student may take the test, at no cost, as often as 8 necessary to demonstrate proficiency. If a student in grade 9 seven or eight passes the civics examination, the student has 10 met the graduation requirement. 11 The director of the department of education is tasked with 12 approving alternative assessment measures that school districts 13 and accredited nonpublic schools may administer to children 14 requiring special education and to English language learners. 15 The bill applies to school years beginning on or after July 16 1, 2018. 17 The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code 18 section 25B.3. The bill requires that the state cost of 19 any state mandate included in the bill be paid by a school 20 district from state school foundation aid received by the 21 school district under Code section 257.16. The specification 22 is deemed to constitute state compliance with any state mandate 23 funding-related requirements of Code section 25B.2. The 24 inclusion of this specification is intended to reinstate the 25 requirement of political subdivisions to comply with any state 26 mandates included in the bill. 27 -3- LSB 1300YH (6) 87 kh/sc 3/ 3