Lawmakers Scaling Back Civics Test Graduation Requirement

Mar 27, 2019

Lawmakers are scaling back a proposal to make the U.S. citizenship civics test a high school graduation requirement for Hoosiers.

Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn), former chair of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee has proposed similar measures in the past, and says civics education is severely lacking.

But lawmakers in the House last week pushed back on adding a new test specifically tied to graduation as they considered the bill.

Kruse says, he hoped the bill would succeed in its original form, but he’s open to making the test material a requirement within government classes students already take to earn a diploma.

“I’ve been around here for 30 years and I understand the process and if we need to make an amendment to get it passed, I think that’s OK,” he says.

House Education committee vice-chair Tony Cook says he agrees civics knowledge is lacking, and while most conversations focus on the issue among students, adults don’t know enough either.

“We always hammer the kids, but I’m telling you, the adult information data is not much better,” Cook says.

Purdue University is also weighing whether to create a civics requirement for its students.

The committee plans to hear and amend the bill at its meeting Wednesday.