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House passes bill to allow opt-out for Keystone Exams

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed legislation that would allow parents to opt their children out of the Keystone Exams, the standardized tests given to high school students.

House Bill 85 would permit school boards to adopt a policy to excuse students from the tests if a parent or guardian submits a written objection to school officials.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester/Lancaster), said many parents have spoken to him with concerns about the Keystone Exams.

“This bill strengthens local control and parental control when it comes to a child’s education," Lawrence said in a statement. "I strongly believe that parents and local school boards should have the ability to speak to this issue.”

The Keystone Exams are a requirement for high school graduation. Under current law, parents may opt out for religious reasons. Lawrence said his proposal would allow parents to opt-out to any philosophical reason. 

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.


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