Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Two bills introduced by State Senator Jane Orie (R – Allegheny) won approval by the Pennsylvania State Education Committee today. One of the bills would require legislative approval for any new state requirements for high school graduation. This is probably in reaction to Governor Ed Rendell’s implementation of the Keystone Exams – a ten-subject standardized test required for graduation that cost the state $201 million to develop. Orie calls these tests “unproven and unneeded.” “At a time when the Commonwealth is facing a 3.2 billion shortfall, the possibility of closing Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, and the possible cuts in education programs, it’s unconscionable to spend money on a new education program, particularly one that’s met with bipartisan criticism, and is only supported by one member of the education community,” says Orie. The senator’s other bill would allow students with severe allergies to carry epinephrine medication to school, in case of a serious reaction that could result in injury or death. Both bills are now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee for a fiscal analysis, and from there will be reviewed by the full Senate.