Arizona College Access Network (AzCAN) — Legislative Update

| February 4, 2020
Arizona Education Bills to Watch in 2020
By: Roxanne Murphy, Director of Statewide Initiatives and AzCAN
The 2020 Arizona Legislative Session began Jan. 13 with Arizona’s education system front and center on the agenda. 
While investments in teacher pay, career and technical education and rural broadband dominate Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget proposal, advances in postsecondary access and attainment continue to be a top priority for AzCAN. Out of the approximately 1,400 bills proposed to date, which are best poised to impact postsecondary access and attainment for Arizona students? 
AzCAN strives to expand knowledge of policies that impact postsecondary access and attainment in Arizona. AzCAN’s 2020 Arizona Legislative Session Alert includes some of the top education proposals to watch this session. This alert is the first in a series of our releases during session to track policy updates related to college readiness, access and success. 
HB2166 proposes changes to Arizona’s high school graduation requirements and requires the Arizona Board of Regents to align with the new high school graduation requirements.
The bill proposes the below for high school graduation:
  • Four credits English Language Arts
  • Three credits of Social Studies
  • Two credits of Laboratory Science
  • Two credits of Mathematics, which include Algebra 1 and Geometry
  • Three STEM credits 
  • One Credit of Fine or Practical Arts
  • Seven credits of Electives
  • Students take at least one online course
Currently, high school students are required to have a minimum of 22 credits in order to graduate:
  • Four credits English or English as a second language
  • Three credits of Social Studies
  • Four credits of Math, which include Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra II
  • Three credits of Science
  • One credit of Arts or Career and Technical Education and Vocational Education
  • Seven credits of Electives
HB2166 was scheduled to be heard on January 27 but did not receive a hearing. To learn more about HB2166 in its entirety, please visit here.
Arizona needs to ensure that students take rigorous courses that ensure a student is prepared for life after high school.  Reducing graduation requirements allows for far too many high school students to not be fully prepared or equipped for success after graduation.  Given the importance of preparing students for life after high school, rigorous graduation requirements are critical in Arizona to ensure that our students have access to opportunity and economic prosperity.
This bill appropriates $5,000,000 from the state General Fund (GF) in FY 2021 to the Arizona Department of Education to pay the tuition costs for up to 12 credit hours of dual enrollment for eligible high school juniors and seniors. Eligibility requires high schools juniors and seniors to be academically eligible to enroll in dual enrollment courses and students to be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Action Steps
  • Share and talk about these bills with your network
  • Encourage your colleagues to become an AzCAN member
  • Contact your legislators and Education Committee about these bills via
AzCAN advocates at the local, state, and national level for policies that
 increase college access and completion for low-income, minority, and first generation college students.


Category: Advocacy, Education

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