Civics Test Bill First Legislation Heading Gov. Ducey’s Desk

Jan 13, 2015

The first bill likely to arrive on Governor Doug Ducey’s desk would create a statewide high school civics test. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, state lawmakers are fast-tracking legislation that could be ready for the governor’s signature this week.

Gov. Ducey being introduced before his first state-of-the-state address Monday. Behind him are House Speaker David M. Gowan (left) and Senate President Andy Biggs.
Credit Michael Chow/The Republic

The identical house and senate bills would require students to answer 60 out 100 questions correctly to graduate from high school or earn a GED. The test would be similar to the one taken in order to become a U.S citizen.

In his state-of-the-state address this week, Governor Ducey pushed the idea to legislators, vowing to sign the bipartisan legislation. He said according to a recent survey 96 percent of elementary school students in the state couldn’t pass a basic civics test.

In his address, Governor Ducey said the lack of knowledge about government and history is a core problem facing children’s education in Arizona.

“This is an issue that can and should unite us. These are our children, and not long from now it will be for them to vote on who sits in your chairs and who stands at this podium,” Ducey said.

Votes on the house and senate bills could come by the end of the week. If passed and signed by the governor, the test would be put into effect for the 2016-2017 school year.