House passes curriculum flexibility bills

The state House overwhelmingly passed legislation supported by the MEA Thursday that would provide more flexibility and local control in establishing graduation requirements for students.

House Bills 4465 and 4466 maintain high graduation standards while providing local school districts with flexibility through “personal curriculum committees.” These committees would be able to customize standards to meet the needs of individual students.

Under current law, students can fulfill the algebra II requirement by completing a program or curriculum in electronics, machining, construction, welding, engineering or renewable energy, provided it features an “appropriate embedded mathematics requirement.” The legislation passed by the House eliminates the “appropriate embedded mathematics requirement.” Instead, students would have to successfully complete “the same content as the algebra II benchmarks assessed on the department-prescribed state high school assessment.”

Of course, students could also fulfill the algebra II requirement by successfully completing the algebra II course.

In addition, students would be able to opt out of the required two years of foreign language courses, provided those courses are replaced with state-approved career and technical education or arts programs. Under the bill, students could also fulfill the requirement by taking at least two foreign language credits between kindergarten and 12th grade, instead of between grades 9 and 12.

Read House Bill 4465 and House Bill 4466 to see the proposed changes.

House Bill 4465 passed the House by an 81-26 margin, while House Bill 4466 passed, 87-20.  The bills now go to the state Senate.