Bill filed by East Texas lawmaker gaining support

Bill filed by East Texas lawmaker gaining support

EAST TEXAS, TX (KTRE) - Texas lawmakers are more than halfway through this legislative session and one bill filed by an East Texas representative is gaining support.

A bill requiring students to pass a civics test before graduating was approved by the Texas House and is now with the Texas Senate.

House bill 1244 is co-authored by State Representative Trent Ashby from Lufkin.

Its designed so that high school students will have the basic knowledge of citizenship, government and history in order to be become more active community members.

"Jury service is one of those things where a person can serve," said District Judge Bob Inselmann, 217th court. "They are the voice of the community after listening to all the evidence the jury will make the decision and quite honestly I wanna see more kids, and I say kids cause they're 18-years or older are eligible to serve on a jury."

If it becomes a law, high school students would be required to answer the same questions that people seeking to become naturalized U.S. citizens are required to take.

"I think it make them better citizens of our community. It makes them better informed when situations arise, a presidential election, a state election, a local elections," said Jennifer McCarroll, assistant principal of curriculum and instruction for Huntington ISD.

Supporters say house bill 1244 would create productive and civically engaged high school graduates. Those having demonstrated knowledge of the core principles of American civics.

Opponents counter saying in could lower the quality of civics education in Texas high schools. They say it would not be an effective measurement of civic knowledge.

Mccarroll said while the bill raises questions on implementation-- they're prepared to make adjustments to meet t-e-a- guidelines.

It's not the first time that something's been implemented or a new bill have been put in place where we had to alter curriculum or change curriculum. We try to do that all the time.

If it gets out of a Texas Senate Committee, then the Texas State Senate will vote in the same form that it passed the Texas house.

The bill would replace the existing U.S. History end-of-course exam with a civics test.

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