Indiana bill would require students pass citizenship exam to graduate high school

Indiana bill would require students pass citizenship exam to graduate high school
© Greg Nash

A bill that passed the Indiana Senate would require all students to pass the U.S. citizenship exam usually administered to immigrants in order to graduate from high school.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that Republican state Senators Dennis Kruse and Jeff Raatz proposed the legislation after growing frustrated with high schoolers knowledge of government and the legislative process.


"Constituents don't know that we're state senators; we don't belong in Washington, D.C," Raatz told the news outlet. "I'm not being critical of them; they just don't understand the system."

The proposal would not require the students to have knowledge of state government, as there are no such questions on the U.S. citizenship exam.

As part of Senate Bill 132, which passed the Senate last week on a 31-17 vote, students would be required to pass the test by getting at least 60 out of 100 questions correct.

If they are not able to do so, they would be denied a high school diploma even if they have satisfied all other graduation requirements.

If the proposal is passed by the Republican-controlled House in Indiana, the bill would go into effect at the beginning of the 2020 school year.

"We have many young people in our country, and in the state of Indiana, who do not know a lot of simple information on our government and on our country and some of our history,” Kruse said.

State Sen. Eddie Melton (D) told the news outlet he is against the proposal because it would force another graduation requirement on students and add another mandate to teachers.

"Some students are just not excellent test-takers,” he said.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma told the Associated Press he didn’t know whether the House would take up the proposed legislation.