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HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: MORE MATH AND SCIENCE

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Issue: Utah students need more training in math and science to be competitive in today's job market, many educators believe.

HB48, which has been before the Legislature five years in a row, would encourage school districts to require three years in each discipline, rather than the two now required for graduation. The language is permissive, but the bill seeks $500,000, to be divided among participating districts, as an incentive. It also allows a waiver for students who feel they have good reason for not taking the mandatory three years.Pros and cons: Advocates feel additional requirements for math and science will make Utah students more competitive and lessen the need for college-level remediation. Opponents say school districts already have the latitude to set requirements that exceed state mandates and they don't want the $500,000 taken from other education needs.

Action: The House Education Committee passed the bill out for more discussion.