Bill would require Kentucky high school students to pass citizenship test in order to graduate

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Kentucky lawmaker has filed a bill that would require all public high school students to pass a civics test in order to receive a regular diploma.

Sen. Jared Carpenter, a Republican from Berea, filed Senate Bill 159 on Friday, which would direct the Kentucky Department of Education to "prepare or approve the test with 100 questions drawn from the test administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to persons seeking to become naturalized citizens" and to "disseminate the test to all public school districts."

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. The requirements would be subject to the accommodations for special needs students with individualized education programs.

Carpenter filed a similar bill in 2016 and it made it through the Senate Education Committee, but then died in a Democratic-controlled house.

This year, the bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville; Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester; Sen. C.B. Embry Jr., R-Morgantown; Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville; Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown and Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green.

If the bill passes, the testing requirement would take effect on July 1, 2018.

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