Senate Study Bill 3119 - Introduced SENATE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION BILL BY CHAIRPERSON SINCLAIR) 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 5706XC (2) 87 kh/jh
S.F. _____ Section 1. Section 256.9, Code 2018, is amended by adding 1 the following new subsection: 2 NEW SUBSECTION . 60. Approve alternative assessment 3 measures pursuant to section 280.9A, subsection 1, paragraph 4 “b” . 5 Sec. 2. Section 259A.1, Code 2018, is amended to read as 6 follows: 7 259A.1 Assessment of competency. 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 demonstrated 11 to qualified individuals who successfully pass the civics 12 examination as set forth in section 280.9A, and demonstrate 13 competence in all of the following core areas: reading, 14 language arts, literacy, mathematics, science, and social 15 studies. 16 Sec. 3. Section 280.9A, subsection 1, Code 2018, is amended 17 to read as follows: 18 1. The board of directors of each local public school 19 district and the authorities in charge of each nonpublic school 20 shall require that all students in grades nine through twelve 21 successfully complete or pass, as applicable , as a condition of 22 graduation, instruction all of the following: 23 a. Instruction in American history and the governments of 24 Iowa and the United States, including instruction in voting 25 statutes and procedures, voter registration requirements, 26 the use of paper ballots and voting systems in the election 27 process, and the method of acquiring and casting an absentee 28 ballot. 29 b. A civics examination that shall be the same as, and shall 30 include all questions used in, the latest available civics 31 examination administered by the United States citizenship 32 and immigration services. The proctored examination shall 33 be completed without ancillary materials and only students 34 who score a proficiency of sixty percent or higher shall 35 -1- LSB 5706XC (2) 87 kh/jh 1/ 3
S.F. _____ be considered to have successfully passed the examination. 1 Alternative assessment measures approved by the department of 2 education pursuant to section 256.9, subsection 60, may be 3 administered to children requiring special education as defined 4 in section 256B.2, subsection 1, and to students identified 5 as limited English proficient pursuant to section 280.4. 6 Each student shall be provided with an opportunity to take 7 the civics examination at least one time per school calendar 8 year. A student may take the test at any time after enrolling 9 in grade seven and may repeat the test as often as necessary 10 to demonstrate proficiency. If a student in grade seven or 11 eight passes the civics examination, the student has met the 12 graduation requirement applicable to this paragraph “b” . A 13 fee shall not be imposed or collected in connection with this 14 paragraph “b” . 15 Sec. 4. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to school years 16 beginning on or after July 1, 2019. 17 Sec. 5. STATE MANDATE FUNDING SPECIFIED. In accordance 18 with section 25B.2, subsection 3, the state cost of requiring 19 compliance with any state mandate included in this Act shall 20 be paid by a school district from state school foundation aid 21 received by the school district under section 257.16. This 22 specification of the payment of the state cost shall be deemed 23 to meet all of the state funding-related requirements of 24 section 25B.2, subsection 3, and no additional state funding 25 shall be necessary for the full implementation of this Act 26 by and enforcement of this Act against all affected school 27 districts. 28 EXPLANATION 29 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 30 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 31 This bill requires students enrolled in school districts 32 and accredited nonpublic schools to successfully pass as a 33 condition of graduation a proctored, or supervised, civics 34 examination that is the same as the latest available civics 35 -2- LSB 5706XC (2) 87 kh/jh 2/ 3
S.F. _____ examination administered by the United States citizenship 1 and immigration services. Individuals seeking a high school 2 equivalency diploma must also pass such an examination. 3 Students are prohibited from using ancillary materials during 4 the examination and must achieve a score of at least 60 percent 5 to successfully pass the examination. 6 Each student must be given an opportunity to take the test 7 at least once every school year, beginning in grade seven, 8 and each student may take the test, at no cost, as often as 9 necessary to demonstrate proficiency. If a student in grade 10 seven or eight passes the civics examination, the student has 11 met the graduation requirement. 12 The director of the department of education is tasked with 13 approving alternative assessment measures that school districts 14 and accredited nonpublic schools may administer to children 15 requiring special education and to English language learners. 16 The bill applies to school years beginning on or after July 17 1, 2019. 18 The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code 19 section 25B.3. The bill requires that the state cost of 20 any state mandate included in the bill be paid by a school 21 district from state school foundation aid received by the 22 school district under Code section 257.16. The specification 23 is deemed to constitute state compliance with any state mandate 24 funding-related requirements of Code section 25B.2. The 25 inclusion of this specification is intended to reinstate the 26 requirement of political subdivisions to comply with any state 27 mandates included in the bill. 28 -3- LSB 5706XC (2) 87 kh/jh 3/ 3